Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Paradeby Melissa Sweet
Everyone’s a New Yorker on Thanksgiving Day, when young and old rise early to see what giant new balloons will fill the skies for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Who first invented these "upside-down puppets"? Meet Tony Sarg, puppeteer extraordinaire! In brilliant collage illustrations, Caldecott Honor artist Melissa Sweet tells the story of the… See more details below
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Everyone’s a New Yorker on Thanksgiving Day, when young and old rise early to see what giant new balloons will fill the skies for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Who first invented these "upside-down puppets"? Meet Tony Sarg, puppeteer extraordinaire! In brilliant collage illustrations, Caldecott Honor artist Melissa Sweet tells the story of the puppeteer Tony Sarg, capturing his genius, his dedication, his zest for play, and his long-lasting gift to America—the inspired helium balloons that would become the trademark of Macy’s Parade. Winner of the 2012 Robert F. Sibert Medal and the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award.
“Sweet’s brilliant combination of collage, design, illustration and text give Balloons Over Broadway an amazing richness. . . [no one] will ever see the parade in the same way.”—Pete Hamill in The New York Times Book Review
“It’s a history lesson, inventor's sketchbook, and inspirational story all rolled into one marvelous mixed-media masterpiece. Sweet's beautifully rendered true-life tale will have your child's imagination soaring to new heights!”—Education.com
"Sweet tells this slice of American history well, conveying both Sarg’s enthusiasm and joy in his work as well as the drama and excitement of the parade. . .This one should float off the shelves."—School Library Journal, starred review
“Tony Sarg, the man who invented the giant balloons of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, has found a worthy biographer in Caldecott Honoree Sweet. The rush that comes from inspiration, the cliffhanger moments of creation, the sheer joy of building something and watching it delight the multitudes—Sweet captures it all in what is truly a story for all ages"—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“This clever marriage of information and illustration soars high.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A joyous piece of nonfiction that informs and delights in equal parts.”—Booklist, starred review
"Sweet’s whimsical mixed-media collages, embellished with little dolls she made herself out of odds and ends, reinforce the theme that, for Sarg, work was play."— Horn Book, starred review
"Sweet's artwork is as joyous an affair as its subject." --Bulletin
This bright, brimming picture biography commemorates Tony Sarg, a brilliant, self-taught artist whose innovative helium balloons delighted legions of Macy's parade watchers from 1928 on.
Sweet sketches Sarg's career as a puppeteer and marionette-maker. Moving from London to New York City, where his marionettes performed on Broadway, Sarg engineered mechanical storybook characters for Macy's "Wondertown" holiday windows. In 1924, he created floats and costumes for the first Macy's parade, which celebrated both immigrant and American holiday traditions. When the annual parade's lions and tigers (borrowed from the Central Park Zoo) frightened children, Macy's commissioned Sarg to replace them. Ever innovative, Sarg eventually utilized rubberized silk and helium to create larger, lighter balloons that could be controlled from below. Sweet's charming mixed-media layouts form a playful bridge between her creative process and Sarg's. She fashioned whimsical toys from painted blocks, buttons and fabric, combining them in photo-collages with old books, cut paper, imagined sketches for Sarg's projects, watercolor images of parade scenes and much more. Endpapers inform and delight, too, with excerpts from a 1929 book about Sarg's marionettes and a front-page parade invitation in the 1933New York Times. Backmatter is also a collage of treats, with an author's note appending further biographical details and comments about the art.
This clever marriage of information and illustration soars high. (bibliography of adult sources, quote sources, acknowledgements, period photo)(Picture book/biography. 4-8)
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