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Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade

by Melissa Sweet

Published by Houghton Mifflin / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0-547-19945-0

Ages 6-10

Podcast featuring this book

Tony Sarg was fascinated by puppets. In 1924, Macy’s department store in New York City asked Tony to help put on a parade for their employees, many of whom were immigrants and missed the holiday traditions from their homelands. It was such a hit that Macy’s decided to make it an annual Thanksgiving Day event. When Macy’s asked Tony to incorporate animals into the parade (live tigers proved too frightening for some parade watchers!), he immediately thought of puppets. Through trial and error, he developed what has become one of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade’s mainstays: the playful, eye-catching, larger-than-life balloons. Melissa Sweet’s captivating picture book showcases Sarg’s lively mind and creative and mechanical processes. Sweet uses a variety of illustration styles in the delightful, multilayered collage art that includes schematics and plans, photographs of toys she constructed to reflect Sarg’s own creations, scenes from Sarg’s life, and of course images of the parade balloons bobbing through the streets of New York. A bibliography and source notes; Sweet’s own commentary on researching, writing, and illustrating the book; more on Sarg’s career and legacy; and even a letter written to Sarg by a young fan round out this singular, inspiring work. Highly Commended, 2012 Charlotte Zolotow Award (Ages 6-10)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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