Review of Balloons Over Broadway

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Every year at Thanksgiving Macy's take part in a wonderful parade that showcases their amazing balloons created by puppeteer Tony Sarg. Here we take a look at Balloons Over Broadway the pictorial biography of the man himself that was written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet.

The Story

It is unusual for a childrens book of this type to be non-fiction but this is indeed what Balloons Over Broadway is as it tells the story in words and pictures of the life of Tony Sarg who is responsible for Macy's amazing hallmark parade balloons.

Sarg began work at Macy's by dressing window displays with his superb mechanical creations of storybook characters, while ultimately he was to progress until he found himself designing the hallmark of Macy's Thanksgiving Parade i.e. the magnificent balloons that float on high capturing the attention of anyone within a mile of the parade.

Melissa Sweet tells the story of Sarg's rise to fame as chief puppeteer in pictorial depictions that she creates magnificently through a collection of collages and paintings that come to life on the pages. It is easy for children to follow the progress of Sarg through the illustrations plus here and there accompanying text enables your child to marry the two together giving a detailed picture of how the superb balloons came about.

Sarg certainly identified with children well, while you can see through his work how much he enjoyed his job. The author follows the story through Sarg's childhood fascination with puppets, while showing pictorially how Sarg mastered the art of making the massive balloons plus how he made them float dominating the parade as they still do to this day.

Your child will discover how Sarg made the balloons look like huge puppets, that were controlled from below, rather than from above, as is the case in normal puppets. Sweet certainly captures well in pictures and collages Sarg's determination to create the awesome puppets we see today. Any child that has not seen the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade will find a new world of discovery contained in Balloons Over Broadway, while children will also learn that with determination and hard work we can achieve almost anything we wish, as Sarg did.

Our Verdict

Balloons Over Broadway is a great book that introduces the uninitiated to the spectacular Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in all its glory. The imaginative colourful pictures combine with the text to tell a unique story that is both inspiring and interesting. Sarg certainly knew how to please children plus fire their imaginations, while Melissa Sweet also has that same talent bringing the story of the Balloons Over Broadway to life in a unique and exciting way.

The book mostly, is suitable for children between the ages of four and eight years, while some children may need a little assistance when it comes to marrying up the text explanations with the illustrations.