3.05.2012

Balloons Over Broadway

The True Story of the Puppeteer
of Macy's Parade 

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday 
hosted today by 100 Scope Notes
(pub. 11.1.2011)  40 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor and illustrator: Melissa Sweet

haracter: Tony Sarg

O verview from the jacket flap: 

         "Every Thanksgiving morning for more than eighty years, mammoth-size balloons have risen to the skies to wobble and sway, sally and shimmy, up and down the canyons of New York City.
      Just how did this beloved tradition come to Broadway? Who first invented these wondrous 'upside-down marionettes'?
      Meet TONY SARG: the boy who loved to figure out how things moved - the boy who became the puppeteer of Macy's parade!
T antalizing taste: 

     "High above the crowds, they flounced in the afternoon wind, pulling the rope handlers this way and that. Yet with every heave-ho, the balloons gestured and articulated like wild puppets and the crowd screamed for more." 

and something more:  I loved reading this terrific book (Winner of the 2012 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award) to my favorite class of second graders. They appreciated the tall illustration (the book is turned vertically for that page) of the huge towering blue elephant balloon in the parade.  And, afterwards, several children asked me to explain how Tony, as a boy, rigged up the pulleys to feed the chickens from his bed in the morning. And, they were impressed that "his dad, so impressed, never made Tony do another chore." A child's dream to be given a free pass regarding chores, right?

9 comments:

Medea said...

Sounds good! Up Up Down by Robert Munsch has a vertical page that my kids love to pieces- and so does Shark vs. Train. Maybe that's the mark of a great book?

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

This is not the first time that I've seen a glowing review of this book, I should definitely check this one out. Reminds me of the Balloons and Museum series that I have reviewed for our wordless picture book theme, are you familiar with that one by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and Robin Preiss Glasser - also amazing.

Ms. Yingling said...

Even though this is a little young for middle school, I have not seen much else on this topic. I'll have to take a look. Students still love this parade!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

I haven't heard of the Balloons and Museum series -- I'm off to check it out! Sounds great. Thanks for the tip, Myra.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

And thanks for stopping by, Ms. Yingling and Medea. I too love that parade -- I love parades in general. I even got to help build (well, really just put petals on) a Rose Parade float as a high school fundraiser. And I hadn't thought about the vertical pages in those other books -- hmmm... perhaps I should keep that in mind for the manuscripts I'm working on :)

Tara said...

This sounds adorable. My sixth graders would find it a bit young...but one never knows....

Tara said...

This sounds adorable. My sixth graders would find it a bit young...but one never knows....

Books4Learning said...

This topic is not one I would necessarily pick up, but you make it sound interesting. I will check it out!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Thanks for stopping by. I think you will both enjoy the book.