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

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A Sibert Medal-winning picture book biography and perfect Thanksgiving Day read about the invention of the first balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! From Caldecott honor artist Melissa Sweet.   Everyone’s a New Yorker on Thanksgiving Day, when people from every corner of the country rise early or tune in to see what giant new balloons will fill the skies for M A Sibert Medal-winning picture book biography and perfect Thanksgiving Day read about the invention of the first balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! From Caldecott honor artist Melissa Sweet.   Everyone’s a New Yorker on Thanksgiving Day, when people from every corner of the country rise early or tune in to see what giant new balloons will fill the skies for Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. In Balloons Over Broadway, Caldecott honor artist Melissa Sweet brings the inspirational story of Tony Sarg, a self-taught immigrant with a wildly creative dream that invented those balloons, to life.   The story takes readers through every step of Sarg’s journey— from his childhood love of creating marionettes, to the moment this brilliant idea was born in his head, all the way up to the invention of these enchanting floating balloons. Sweet brilliantly captures the essence of Sarg through her signature collage illustrations and thoughtful storytelling. Balloons over Broadway will capture the hearts of all ages sitting around the dinner table, on Thanksgiving Day and every day.


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A Sibert Medal-winning picture book biography and perfect Thanksgiving Day read about the invention of the first balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! From Caldecott honor artist Melissa Sweet.   Everyone’s a New Yorker on Thanksgiving Day, when people from every corner of the country rise early or tune in to see what giant new balloons will fill the skies for M A Sibert Medal-winning picture book biography and perfect Thanksgiving Day read about the invention of the first balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! From Caldecott honor artist Melissa Sweet.   Everyone’s a New Yorker on Thanksgiving Day, when people from every corner of the country rise early or tune in to see what giant new balloons will fill the skies for Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. In Balloons Over Broadway, Caldecott honor artist Melissa Sweet brings the inspirational story of Tony Sarg, a self-taught immigrant with a wildly creative dream that invented those balloons, to life.   The story takes readers through every step of Sarg’s journey— from his childhood love of creating marionettes, to the moment this brilliant idea was born in his head, all the way up to the invention of these enchanting floating balloons. Sweet brilliantly captures the essence of Sarg through her signature collage illustrations and thoughtful storytelling. Balloons over Broadway will capture the hearts of all ages sitting around the dinner table, on Thanksgiving Day and every day.

30 review for Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade

  1. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    This is the story of Tony Sarg and how the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade came into being. Tony figured out and designed all the balloons as upside down puppets. Instead of controlling them from above, they were controlled from below. He was a man who kept his child-like wonder. The parade started in 1928 because immigrants missed a street carnival like back in their own countries. Tony is the mentor of the person who did puppets for ‘the Sound of Music’ and that person mentored Jim Henson. He k This is the story of Tony Sarg and how the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade came into being. Tony figured out and designed all the balloons as upside down puppets. Instead of controlling them from above, they were controlled from below. He was a man who kept his child-like wonder. The parade started in 1928 because immigrants missed a street carnival like back in their own countries. Tony is the mentor of the person who did puppets for ‘the Sound of Music’ and that person mentored Jim Henson. He kind of started good things in this country. The kids have seen the parade, but they get bored of it still, sadly, so they know about the balloons. Hopefully they can see if first hand one day if Macy’s is still around. Still, they thought the book was pretty neat. There are some strange looking creatures in here that my nephew liked. His newest obsession is Chip and Dale. They both ended up giving this book 4 stars. It’s funny, I ask them several questions about what they think of a book and now they are in the habit of discussing with each other, to their own degree, what they like and don’t like about the story. It’s cute to hear the short discussion. Usually it’s “I like this page and I don’t like that page” kind of thing.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melki

    Tony Sarg always had a fascination with things on strings, and he used his love of marionettes to get a job designing windows for Macy's department store. In 1924, he was approached by other Macy's employees, immigrants all, to help create a parade to celebrate holiday traditions. When it was discovered that real, live animals in the parade were frightening the children, Tony designed his own fantastical animals - part puppet, part balloon, his air-filled rubber bags strolled along the streets th Tony Sarg always had a fascination with things on strings, and he used his love of marionettes to get a job designing windows for Macy's department store. In 1924, he was approached by other Macy's employees, immigrants all, to help create a parade to celebrate holiday traditions. When it was discovered that real, live animals in the parade were frightening the children, Tony designed his own fantastical animals - part puppet, part balloon, his air-filled rubber bags strolled along the streets that Thanksgiving day. To make his creations easier to see by the packed crowds, Tony began filling them with helium, and the giant parade balloon was born. This is a wonderful story, with terrific illustrations by the author.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    indulge me in a bit of a different review for this book: Each year Thanksgiving Day finds me reminiscing back to childhood and smells of turkey cooking, family, laughter, love and of course, The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. My mother was cooking in the kitchen but she'd pop into the living room and join me and my father to watch the marching bands, the crowds and of course those magnificent balloons floating down the streets of New York. I always thought I'd like to venture to New York and see indulge me in a bit of a different review for this book: Each year Thanksgiving Day finds me reminiscing back to childhood and smells of turkey cooking, family, laughter, love and of course, The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. My mother was cooking in the kitchen but she'd pop into the living room and join me and my father to watch the marching bands, the crowds and of course those magnificent balloons floating down the streets of New York. I always thought I'd like to venture to New York and see the parade in all its colorful glory, in person. Each year as Thanksgiving approached I'd think about going and then would dismiss the plan. I don't like the cold so thought it might be better to just watch the parade from the warmth of my living room. This year as I thought about going I had to ask myself, "what am I waiting for?". And so I made the plan to finally go to see The 2011 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We've got two books in our library on the parade: Milly and the Macy's Parade / by Shana Corey ; illustrated by Brett Helquist. ; A picture book based on a true story of the parade's 1924 origins, this has stunning art and reminds me of a window dressing. The second, ia a 2011 publication, Balloons over Broadway : the true story of the puppeteer of Macy's Parade / written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. This children's book tells the story of the puppeteer Tony Sarg and his creation of the first giant balloons to fly over the crowds and becoming an American tradition that has entertains millions each year. It's a fascinating story and was the perfect choice to read while planning my trip to the parade. My husband, grandchildren and I were fortunate that mother nature provided excellent weather on Thanksgiving Day. We found a sunny spot with a wall for leaning bordering Central Park and 63rd St. We had plenty of time to mingle and talk with people as we arrived at 7AM and had two hours before the parade would begin. You might see more watching the parade on tv, but nothing will compare to seeing that first balloon come down the avenue. It was incredible! They are huge, taking up the whole width of the street and even on this balmy day, you can see the sheer strength it takes the handlers to keep the balloons from crashing into buildings or taking off. My favorite, hands down, Kermit the Frog! The spectators were extremely appreciative of the bands, clowns, celebrities and other parade participants but none so much as the NY Firemen and NYPD. The cheering for all was wonderful to see. So where's my pictures? They're in my head, to bring back at whim, new memories of a very special Thanksgiving Day.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I can't believe that I forgot to say how much I love, love, love this book. When I was a classroom teacher, many of my students were immigrants or just generally unaware of American culture. They truly needed a teacher to show them the Olympics, Obama's inauguration, Bush's state dinner, and uniquely American celebrations. Balloons Over Broadway is a beautiful way to introduce kids to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Totally recommended as a nonfiction (and picture book and American culture) I can't believe that I forgot to say how much I love, love, love this book. When I was a classroom teacher, many of my students were immigrants or just generally unaware of American culture. They truly needed a teacher to show them the Olympics, Obama's inauguration, Bush's state dinner, and uniquely American celebrations. Balloons Over Broadway is a beautiful way to introduce kids to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Totally recommended as a nonfiction (and picture book and American culture) text. Great for grades 2 - 4.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    This is an outstanding book about Tony Sarg, the art of marionettes & puppetry and the history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I’ve never really enjoyed puppets or marionettes and I’m not a fan of parades, but I did enjoy this book. The only time I saw the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in person, I was six. I was not that entertained. Later on though, I have always liked the parade section in the movie Miracle on 34th Street. And I’ve enjoyed a few Disney parades. The marionette show in t This is an outstanding book about Tony Sarg, the art of marionettes & puppetry and the history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I’ve never really enjoyed puppets or marionettes and I’m not a fan of parades, but I did enjoy this book. The only time I saw the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in person, I was six. I was not that entertained. Later on though, I have always liked the parade section in the movie Miracle on 34th Street. And I’ve enjoyed a few Disney parades. The marionette show in the movie of The Sound of Music is one of my least favorite scenes, the song that goes with it one of my least favorite songs in the musical. So, I’m probably not the best reader for this book. The reason I starred it as high as I did is that I really enjoyed the book, and learned from it to. It’s a fine account of Tony Sarg’s life and art, a lovely immigrant story (I had not known that the Macy’s parade started as a perk for Macy’s immigrant employees), and reveals some interesting history. It’s a wonderful story of how an artist thought and worked, and might give artistic minded/interested kids some ideas. I became quite enamored with Sarg, from childhood through his later years. I love his quote “I have never done a stroke of work in my life.” Aspiring to an eventual vocation where they can say that is a great idea to introduce to kids. The illustrations are so much more than traditional pictures. They are amazing. They’re made up of photos of handmade toys, text within pictures, old newspaper clippings, watercolor paintings, collage. They’re all fascinating and they really draw the reader into the book. And, they seem authentic to the subject matter. They’re creative, clever, and appealing. It’s apparent that a lot of love and work went into this book. 4 ½ stars

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I thoroughly enjoyed this picture book biography of Tony Sarg, creator of the first balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. As a boy, Tony loved to figure out how things worked and he loved to build things (his solution to feeding the chickens on cold mornings left me both laughing and admiring!). His keen mind and sense of imagination and fun held steadfast to adulthood (and a move from his home in England) and soon he was designing amazing marionettes and even created the "Wondertown" w I thoroughly enjoyed this picture book biography of Tony Sarg, creator of the first balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. As a boy, Tony loved to figure out how things worked and he loved to build things (his solution to feeding the chickens on cold mornings left me both laughing and admiring!). His keen mind and sense of imagination and fun held steadfast to adulthood (and a move from his home in England) and soon he was designing amazing marionettes and even created the "Wondertown" window display for Macy's in New York City. When Macy's employees, many of the immigrants missing their own holiday traditions as the Christmas season approached, wanted to hold a parade, Macy's hired Tony to help. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was born! I really loved seeing the evolution of Tony's ideas, adapting as the parade changed, both parade and balloons becoming bigger and more popular. (I also was very happy that the zoo animals in the parade were replaced by balloon animals!) I especially enjoyed how Tony got the idea for the huge "marionette balloons" that we see today on the Macy's Parade (readers might even recognize Felix the Cat--a familiar character in the parade today). Tony Sarg seemed like a great guy. "I've never done a stroke of work in my life," he said. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all feel that way about our jobs!? He seemed to always hold true to his creative spirit and the sense of childhood wonder he held within. Despite his popularity and increasing fame, he always made time for children and responded to every letter he received from his young fans. He also inspired many future puppeteers. One of his apprentices, Bill Baird, created the puppets for the famous "Lonely Goatherd" marionette show in the film "The Sound of Music" and one of Baird's apprentices was Jim Hensen, creator of the Muppets! Though I wasn't a huge fan of the style of Sweet's illustrations, I could appreciate them and I loved the sense of joy in them. I highly recommend this book to anyone (adults included!) interested in learning more about the history of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, interested in art, imagination, mechanics, and perseverance. I think it's especially beneficial for children to see how concepts evolve and improve and adapt. Those looking for more about the origins of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade might also enjoy Milly And The Macy's Parade.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shiloah

    An excellent history of the man who created the balloons for the Macy’s Day Parade.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    Winner of the 2012 Robert F. Sibert Medal, awarded annually to the best informational children's title published that year, this beautifully-illustrated picture-book biography follows the story of Tony Sarg, the puppeteer and marionette-maker who created the very first floating balloon characters for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. From his childhood as a toy collector and tinkerer, to his days as one of the foremost puppeteers of his day - in a wonderful example of traditions being passed o Winner of the 2012 Robert F. Sibert Medal, awarded annually to the best informational children's title published that year, this beautifully-illustrated picture-book biography follows the story of Tony Sarg, the puppeteer and marionette-maker who created the very first floating balloon characters for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. From his childhood as a toy collector and tinkerer, to his days as one of the foremost puppeteers of his day - in a wonderful example of traditions being passed on, one of Sarg's apprentices was responsible for the marionette theater in the film The Sound of Music, and his apprentice was Muppets creator Jim Henson - Balloons Over Broadway chronicles Sarg's life-long devotion to his craft. I read this at the same time as Shana Corey's Milly and the Macy's Parade , another picture-book dealing with the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and found it absolutely delightful! Informative, entertaining, with gorgeous mixed media and collage artwork, it is a worthy tribute to this wonderful holiday tradition. I appreciated all the little found objects that Melissa Sweet worked into her artwork, as well as the detailed author's note at the end of the book, and was glad to learn something about the artistic component of the parade, and the person responsible for it. Tony Sarg's statement, that he had never done any work in his life, was quite impressive - I suppose when we truly love something, it isn't really work to us.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Edwards

    A beautifully done biography that my students really enjoy. It's great for getting their creativity flowing and for leading into some cool science-related discussions about helium vs. air, etc. The knowledge that the big Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade started out with puppets is really inspiring. The illustrations are beautiful. A great modern Thanksgiving Day read aloud!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Donalyn

    The fascinating story of Tony Sarg, renowned puppeteer and creator of the Macy's parade balloon puppets. Outstanding design and crisp, engaging text invite readers into Sarg's creative process.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

    This book is the 2012 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal winner, and deservingly so. I love books in which I learn something, and this one introduced me to Tony Sarg, who created the giant Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade balloons, which are really marionettes controlled from the bottom instead of the top (I didn't know that!). It was interesting to read about the early parades, before the big balloons were invented, and how the concept of the balloons evolved. (I liked reading about the id This book is the 2012 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal winner, and deservingly so. I love books in which I learn something, and this one introduced me to Tony Sarg, who created the giant Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade balloons, which are really marionettes controlled from the bottom instead of the top (I didn't know that!). It was interesting to read about the early parades, before the big balloons were invented, and how the concept of the balloons evolved. (I liked reading about the ideas that didn't work!) The illustrations, a mixture of drawings and photos of crafted puppets and other objects, emphasized Sarg's inventiveness and creativity. Melissa Sweet stated in an author's note that she studied puppetry and made various kinds of puppets in preparation for writing and illustrating this book. I especially liked the 2-page end-on spread of the elephant balloon sailing in its first parade. Sweet also provided additional information in her author's note about Sarg's life after the events in the book. One of his apprentice's apprentices was Jim Henson of the Muppets fame! He also illustrated a children's book, which I will now have to look for. Finally, I enjoyed the advertisement from the New York Times on the back endpapers for the parade, with its descriptions of all the balloons. A creative and informative book from cover to cover, and recommended!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Luisa Knight

    What a great book! Do you remember the "Lonely Goatherd" scene in the Sound of Music movie where Maria and the children sing and put on a play with marionettes? And you remember all of the Muppets that Jim Henson created, right? Well, the man who made the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade so iconic was their tutor! This book introduces you to Tony Sarg, the man who loved marionettes, had a marionette show on Broadway and ended up envisioning the wondrous blimps and balloons we all so enjoy seeing as What a great book! Do you remember the "Lonely Goatherd" scene in the Sound of Music movie where Maria and the children sing and put on a play with marionettes? And you remember all of the Muppets that Jim Henson created, right? Well, the man who made the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade so iconic was their tutor! This book introduces you to Tony Sarg, the man who loved marionettes, had a marionette show on Broadway and ended up envisioning the wondrous blimps and balloons we all so enjoy seeing as they stroll along New York City each year come Thanksgiving. I enjoyed learning of Sarg's story and the illustrations were just sublime. Don't miss this one! Ages: 4 - 9 **Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before reading it! Visit my website!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Annie Friedlander

    Balloons Over Broadway is the story of Tony Sarg, a puppeteer who helped transform the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade into the well-known event it is today. The book begins with Tony's childhood love for tinkering and progresses through the rest of his life as an artist who became known as the father of American puppetry. The book's layout and illustrations capture Tony's playful personality and reflect his process for designing and creating his works. The illustrations are made as a result of the a Balloons Over Broadway is the story of Tony Sarg, a puppeteer who helped transform the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade into the well-known event it is today. The book begins with Tony's childhood love for tinkering and progresses through the rest of his life as an artist who became known as the father of American puppetry. The book's layout and illustrations capture Tony's playful personality and reflect his process for designing and creating his works. The illustrations are made as a result of the author building toys herself, including sketches, photographs, and notes in the style of an artist at work. This book transports readers to New York in the mid 20th century and inside the mind of the fun-loving problem solver, Tony Sarg.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michele Knott

    Fantastic biography about Tony Sarg, the man who introduced the infamous balloons in Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. The book details the evolution of the parade from floats and animals, to the famous balloons we see on TV now! Great illustrations and authentic material shown in the illustrations.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Haley

    Balloons Over Broadway is a picture book biography of Tony Sarg. The book has such a fun layout. Each page is colorful and interesting, and even the text pops out from the page as if it were pasted on. The entire book is like one big, fun collage of information! This book would be great to introduce students to biographies. It will definitely keep readers interested and entertained. The Macy's Parade is a holiday tradition for many all across the United States, and it was very intriguing to know Balloons Over Broadway is a picture book biography of Tony Sarg. The book has such a fun layout. Each page is colorful and interesting, and even the text pops out from the page as if it were pasted on. The entire book is like one big, fun collage of information! This book would be great to introduce students to biographies. It will definitely keep readers interested and entertained. The Macy's Parade is a holiday tradition for many all across the United States, and it was very intriguing to know how it got its start.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bethe

    Edit 9-21-13 have to move this book to a 5 star after reading the ebook version via the SMART Board these last 2 weeks with third through fifth grade. Students and teachers are loving it; I've found something new each time! exuberant combo of easy to read information and whimsical illustrations fashioned from a variety of media, very child friendly. I bet lots of people never gave a thought as to how the famous parade came to have those wonderful balloons.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marc Bisson

    Balloons Over Broadway is an amazing story of Tony Sarg, who was a puppeteer who inspired large balloons in New York, which have become a staple of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. My students were engaged and loved the vibrant and beautiful pictures from the book. This book was followed by a writing prompt where students wrote about things that they were thankful for, including things they were passionate about, just like Tony Sarg.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This is the story of Tony Sarg, the man who created the giant balloons of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The history behind the parade and how these balloons were first imagined is so fascinating and the illustrations are so joyful that they will immediately lift the spirits of anyone in need of a mood booster\.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mariah Roze

    This book is great! My students and I learned so much from this book. I had no idea how the Macy Parade even started. The only reason this book was not 5 stars was because the vocabulary is a little hard in this book. We had to talk through a couple of words.

  20. 5 out of 5

    James Ingram

    I found this book to be very interesting and very educational. I have been watching the Macy parade every thanksgiving for my entire life and I never really knew where the idea came from or how those balloons came to be. I wish I was alive to see the old parade windows that started this annual event, but I am glad I am alive to see the parade prosper. The book makes me wonder what it was like to come up with this idea and makes me wish I saw the face of the guy that was asked to create such a hu I found this book to be very interesting and very educational. I have been watching the Macy parade every thanksgiving for my entire life and I never really knew where the idea came from or how those balloons came to be. I wish I was alive to see the old parade windows that started this annual event, but I am glad I am alive to see the parade prosper. The book makes me wonder what it was like to come up with this idea and makes me wish I saw the face of the guy that was asked to create such a huge balloon. It amazes me that puppeteer work back in the day was one of the sources of entertainment used on a regular basis. I wish that they still had some puppeteer shows going when you randomly walk down the street. I would love to see the great work these puppeteers have to offer.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jenna Dif

    Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade is a nonfiction book written about Tony Sarg, the man who invented the larger than life balloons that fly every year at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The story gives the reader a well-rounded view of Sarg, and talks about his adventures as a young boy in which he created a way to feed his family's chickens without getting out of bed! The story goes on to talk about how Macy's recruited Sarg to create a window show wit Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade is a nonfiction book written about Tony Sarg, the man who invented the larger than life balloons that fly every year at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The story gives the reader a well-rounded view of Sarg, and talks about his adventures as a young boy in which he created a way to feed his family's chickens without getting out of bed! The story goes on to talk about how Macy's recruited Sarg to create a window show with the puppets he enjoyed making (he particularly liked marionettes), which then evolved to him creating the balloons that flew over the parade. At first, he had people holding the balloons from sticks, but he discovered that that still wasn't tall enough. So, he did some more experimenting and came up with the balloons we know and see today in the parade. As a whole, the book explains how he did some experimenting and came up with the modern-day huge parade balloons we know. This book could be used in the K-3 classroom, and could be done as a read aloud or used as an independent read for more advanced readers. One way this could be used in the classroom would be for students to, after hearing the story, write about some kind of invention they think the world needs or could use. After coming up with the invention, students would write about what they invented and WHY they think the world needs it. (This could work with any K-3 grade level and could just need some modifications in terms of how much students are asked to write.) This could be done as a cross-categorical activity that would combine literacy (writing about their invention) and STEM (the thinking and logic behind what they choose to invent.) Many times, (at least in my classroom!) students come up with things the teacher might never have thought of, and this would be a great way for students to exercise their creativity and build upon what Sarg did in the story. These giant balloons are something the world didn't really know it needed or would enjoy, but Sarg created something millions of people enjoy every year! Relaying this message to students would be a great way for them to produce ideas about what they think the world needs more of! After finishing their writing and drawing, students could have the opportunity to share with a buddy of with the whole group. Another way this could be used in the classroom would be as a writing extension activity. After hearing the story as a read aloud and some general classroom discussion, students could then write about what other inventions Sarg could have come up with to complement the balloons, ways he could enhance what he has already created, or how they would have made the balloons differently. Students are often asked to think about alternate endings or to think beyond the ending of a text they've read, and this activity would give students the chance to think beyond the ending and add their own twist or take to the book. This will help student's creative thinking and ability to reflect on a text read. As always, students could share out responses when they are finished. To me, this is a WOW book because it tells the story of a young boy who was, for all intents and purposes, ordinary. However, he created something hugely popular and important in today's culture, and I love that this book will allow students to think outside the box and to believe that they could also create something new and exciting. I love books and activities that allow students to see potential in themselves, and this book would certainly enable students to be confident in their abilities to make a contribution to the world. This book is also a WOW book for me because it gives a great example of perseverance in that Tony did not give up and fine-tuned the balloons until they were exactly right. This is a great example for students and would be a great reinforcer that even if something does not go exactly how you'd want it the first time, keep trying and you will find success!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Becca Cohen

    Balloons Over Broadway is a great informational text that tells the story of Tony Sarg, the man responsible for creating the gargantuan balloons featured in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. The book begins by recounting Tony's first invention when he was only eight years old and trying to avoid the hassle of completing his chores. As Tony grows, his passion for creating does as well, and he never lets bumps in the road deter him fro reaching his goals. When Macy's reaches out to Tony to help Balloons Over Broadway is a great informational text that tells the story of Tony Sarg, the man responsible for creating the gargantuan balloons featured in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. The book begins by recounting Tony's first invention when he was only eight years old and trying to avoid the hassle of completing his chores. As Tony grows, his passion for creating does as well, and he never lets bumps in the road deter him fro reaching his goals. When Macy's reaches out to Tony to help them with their parade, he accepts the challenge and continues to work his hardest to make the even the best it could possibly be. I think this is a terrific book about perseverance and determination. Tony always liked to create, and when he has a goal in mind he does everything he can to reach it. It took him a few tries to figure out what he could do to make his dream a reality, but he never gave up. When he created the air filled balloons he was proud of what he had come up with, but he realized there needed to be improvements made. He took note of what needed to change and thought about all of the ways he could make it happen. The book not only shares an interesting story with amazing illustrations, but it also shares some important messages; never give up on a goal or a dream and there is always room for improvement. I also think this book would work well if it was used as a lesson on making predictions when reading. There are several points that I noticed would be good places to pause and ask students about what they think will happen next. One example, depending on the grade, was when the air-filled balloons could not be raised high enough for all spectators to see. You could ask students what else they think Tony might fill the balloons with that will make them float higher before reading on to discover that he filled them with helium. There is also opportunity to discuss not only American traditions, but some traditions that other countries and cultures may have that are similar to the Macy's Parade.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    Source: Sibert Award I read this as an ebook on my computer. While it was similar to reading the book version, I would prefer to have the actual book. It was easier to look at the illustrations, especially when the direction of the pages changed and were vertical. Balloons Over Broadway is a biography about Tony Sarg, the man that invented the “upside down marionettes” in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. As a boy, Tony loved to figure out how things moved. As an adult, he began to make marionet Source: Sibert Award I read this as an ebook on my computer. While it was similar to reading the book version, I would prefer to have the actual book. It was easier to look at the illustrations, especially when the direction of the pages changed and were vertical. Balloons Over Broadway is a biography about Tony Sarg, the man that invented the “upside down marionettes” in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. As a boy, Tony loved to figure out how things moved. As an adult, he began to make marionettes and made a “puppet parade” for a Macy’s holiday window display. Then, one year, Macy’s decided to have a Thanksgiving Day parade for its employees, as many of its employees were immigrants who missed their holiday traditions. Tony designed a “part balloon, part puppet” and started the tradition for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parades. Tony Sarg is portrayed in a way that is intriguing and engaging, making readers want to learn about him. One is able to see his personality—his creativity and playfulness—through the author’s description. The visuals in this text include water color illustrations, as well as paper-mache puppets and toys made of objects and fabrics created by the author to look like some of the toys and puppets that Tony Sarg had made. There are two page spreads throughout the text to illustrate the size of the balloons and parade—one of the two paged spreads is vertical, illustrating the height of the balloon. The end paper includes the original advertisement for the parade. In addition, the author’s language helps to portray the movement of the puppets: they “shimmied and swayed through the canyons of New York City.” Both the text and the illustrations help the reader to visualize the parade and puppets and further engages the reader in the story. This book would be appropriate for students in the primary grades. This could be used with students when teaching about biographies or it could be used around Thanksgiving to teach students how the parade began.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Erika Stancil

    Balloons over Broadway was the true story of how the famous Macy's Day Parade balloons were created. A Puppeteer who had a knack for creating appealing shows with his puppets was given an offer by Macy's department store to put his puppets up in a store window to draw more people into the store. The puppets moved mechanically and drew the attention and amazement of children and adults alike so much Macy decided they wanted his puppets in their parade. Unfortunately, puppets are small and close t Balloons over Broadway was the true story of how the famous Macy's Day Parade balloons were created. A Puppeteer who had a knack for creating appealing shows with his puppets was given an offer by Macy's department store to put his puppets up in a store window to draw more people into the store. The puppets moved mechanically and drew the attention and amazement of children and adults alike so much Macy decided they wanted his puppets in their parade. Unfortunately, puppets are small and close to the ground so they are not ideal for a crowded parade. After multiple attempts the puppets turned into something brand new. One use in the classroom would be for read-aloud. This book contains a lot of bright visual pictures, which is perfect for read-aloud with middle grades. The story captures the attention of children of all ages, as while not all children may have seen a parade with giant balloon, a majority of students have seen some form of a balloon. Photos or videos of giant inflatable parade balloons should be shown before or after the reading of the Balloons over Broadway. A class discussion afterward reading the book could transition into science could discuss the physics of the balloons or how the wind and other factors might affect the balloons in the air. Depending on the grade level, the standards connecting to the book may differ. Balloons Over Broadway was a wonderful read. The illustrations are descriptive, the word count per page are extensive but not overwhelming. The pages flowed chronology, and while holding complicated ideas the concept was explained effectively.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Madison Baity

    Balloons Over Broadway is a true story about a puppeteer, Tony Sarg, who becomes the puppeteer behind the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The story begins with Tony as a young boy with the idea to bring items to life with movement. As an adult, he becomes famous for his marionette puppets, which do in fact move as if they are living things. He is asked by Macy’s to create a puppet parade for their famous holiday window display, which eventually ended up leading to the idea for the parade. Howeve Balloons Over Broadway is a true story about a puppeteer, Tony Sarg, who becomes the puppeteer behind the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The story begins with Tony as a young boy with the idea to bring items to life with movement. As an adult, he becomes famous for his marionette puppets, which do in fact move as if they are living things. He is asked by Macy’s to create a puppet parade for their famous holiday window display, which eventually ended up leading to the idea for the parade. However, the puppets would be too small to be seen in the parade, so he comes up with the idea for the huge balloons we still see in the parade today. I would use this book in my classroom in a variety of ways. One way I would love to use it is as a read aloud to begin a lesson about the engineering design process. Tony goes through this process when designing the balloons, and he also works with a team of people in designing the balloons. I would read this to my class as a way to preface a project where they would be working in teams and using the engineering design process to create a new balloon for the parade, with specific qualifications based on what we were working on in science and math at the time. This was a wow book for me for many reasons. For one, it was a very interesting read. I learned so much about the Macy’s parade that I ad never heard before, even though I watch the parade every year. I never really thought about what had led to this annual parade of hung balloons. Additionally, the illustrations in this book were phenomenal. They really added a lot to the story and were so bright and engaging.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Bray

    Tony Sarg was infatuated with marionette puppets as a child, and his love only expanded as he grew older. The Macy’s Day Parade had live animals that grew too dangerous and loud, so Tony was in charge of coming up with a better idea. He used his knowledge of puppetry and came up with giant animal designs, ranging up to sixteen feet tall! They were, however, heavy and hard to handle. Tony came up with an “upside marionette” version of balloons for his animals, which are the style of balloons sti Tony Sarg was infatuated with marionette puppets as a child, and his love only expanded as he grew older. The Macy’s Day Parade had live animals that grew too dangerous and loud, so Tony was in charge of coming up with a better idea. He used his knowledge of puppetry and came up with giant animal designs, ranging up to sixteen feet tall! They were, however, heavy and hard to handle. Tony came up with an “upside marionette” version of balloons for his animals, which are the style of balloons still used in parades today. The non-fiction features of this story include organizational patterns such as description and sequence, which provide information about an object, event, or person (e.g., facts, features, traits), often qualifying the listing in terms of criteria such as size or importance and this pattern puts information (e.g., events, facts, steps) into a sequence (Temple, 2015). Many nonfiction books contain support tools that document the research done by the author. These tools comprise the front matter and end matter of a nonfiction book. The visual components of this book were some of the most interesting design elements in a picture book that I have ever seen. The complexity of photographs, layering of collages, and cut-outs were so appealing. I really enjoyed the artistic features of this book in particular. Temple, C. A. (2015). Children's Books in Children's Hands, 5th Edition. [BryteWave]. Retrieved from https://shelf.brytewave.com/#/books/9...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beth Wozencraft

    Balloons Over Broadway looks at the true story of the puppeteer, Anthony “Tony” Sarg, behind the Macy’s Day parade balloons. The story begins at the beginning of Sarg’s life where he loved to create new things and make them move. He loved Marionettes and brought them to Broadway where Macy’s heard about his puppets. Macy’s asked him to create and design a puppet parade for the Macy’s holiday display window. This turned into an actual parade for Macy’s employees where Sarg helped replace live ani Balloons Over Broadway looks at the true story of the puppeteer, Anthony “Tony” Sarg, behind the Macy’s Day parade balloons. The story begins at the beginning of Sarg’s life where he loved to create new things and make them move. He loved Marionettes and brought them to Broadway where Macy’s heard about his puppets. Macy’s asked him to create and design a puppet parade for the Macy’s holiday display window. This turned into an actual parade for Macy’s employees where Sarg helped replace live animals with large animal balloons designed similar to blimps. These balloons were held up with sticks, but not everyone could see them. Through trial and error Sarg had to figure out how to make the balloons taller. He discovered that helium would make it rise and sandbags would hold them down. I found this story engaging and informative. I enjoyed its use of chronological order as I knew what was happening and in what order. The illustrations also greatly added to the text. Many pages looked like a collage which reminded me of a work station, one Sarg might have even used. The illustrations were also colorful and worked well with the balloon theme. I decided to read this book because it was the winner of the 2012 Orbis Pictus Award. I think this book would work well in the upper elementary grades, specifically when studying biographies.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    Summary: Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade, by Melissa Sweet, narrates the story of Tony Sarg. He was a puppeteer, who loved to create puppets. He improved his craft so much that Macy’s asked him to create puppets for the parade. On his first attempt however, the puppets were small and not everyone could see them. After multiple attempts, he came up with the idea of the “upside down marionettes” or balloons that we see today. Evaluation: I have watched the Summary: Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade, by Melissa Sweet, narrates the story of Tony Sarg. He was a puppeteer, who loved to create puppets. He improved his craft so much that Macy’s asked him to create puppets for the parade. On his first attempt however, the puppets were small and not everyone could see them. After multiple attempts, he came up with the idea of the “upside down marionettes” or balloons that we see today. Evaluation: I have watched the Macy’s Day Parade every Thanksgiving Day for as long as I can remember. There was something so magical about watching the gigantic balloons that floated in the air. It was interesting to read about the man behind the balloons. This is a wonderful story to teach students about such a famous event. The illustrations are detailed and whimsical. It is as if you are viewing a snapshot of a Macy’s day parade from a long time ago. Teaching Idea: I would use this book as a read aloud for Kindergarten. It would be a great book to read during when we are talking about thanksgiving. After reading this book, I would have the students try to make their own puppet out of craft supplies and paper bags.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Taylor

    Balloons Over Broadway is such a great read. To be honest, I did not expect it to be so good when I picked it up. However the illustrations and bits of humor (in the way Tony thought as a child) were just the right touch. As a future teacher, I definitely want to use this book to show my students that reading non-fiction does not have to be boring. Not only that, but someone who made a tradition was once in the very same shoes they are, not wanting to do chores and thinking creatively. This book Balloons Over Broadway is such a great read. To be honest, I did not expect it to be so good when I picked it up. However the illustrations and bits of humor (in the way Tony thought as a child) were just the right touch. As a future teacher, I definitely want to use this book to show my students that reading non-fiction does not have to be boring. Not only that, but someone who made a tradition was once in the very same shoes they are, not wanting to do chores and thinking creatively. This book shows that they can reach their goals, and they can use their own ideas to do it. As Tony is working through his problems, I believe and hope students can see themselves in him and look up to him as a role model. Their contribution to the world may not be being the best singer or most intelligent doctor. It can be simple. Tony made balloon puppets. He helped unify the nation through creativity. What's in the minds of our [future] students? They don't have to be the smartest in the class to make a difference. They just need to find what they are good at and use it for good. Most Orbis Pictus awards I tend to disagree with, but with this book, that is definitely not the case.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Zina

    This story is about a boy named Tony Sarg who had a passion for figuring out how things moved. He became a marionette man at the age of six. When he grew up he moved to London and he realized marionettes were "out of style." So he decided to make some wooden realistic puppets and he put on some shows. He was so great at it, and his puppets moved life like that people looked for him to create more. He later moved to New York and performed on Broadway. Macy’s heard about his performances and asked This story is about a boy named Tony Sarg who had a passion for figuring out how things moved. He became a marionette man at the age of six. When he grew up he moved to London and he realized marionettes were "out of style." So he decided to make some wooden realistic puppets and he put on some shows. He was so great at it, and his puppets moved life like that people looked for him to create more. He later moved to New York and performed on Broadway. Macy’s heard about his performances and asked him to create a puppet show for their store window. Macy’s loved the window so much they asked him to help them with their first parade. The parade was a big hit, so they decided to do one every year on Thanksgiving Day. Very long story, short, Tony created the first Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Puppets and made history.

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