December 2, 2011

Perfect Picture Book Friday - Balloons Over Broadway

Good Morning, Everyone :)

Today's Perfect Picture Book is one I would have chosen myself anyway, but it comes to us courtesy of talented author/illustrator Lisa Thiesing who wanted to participate but doesn't have a blog to post on.  If anyone else out there is in a similar position, please feel free to email me your Perfect Picture Book and I'll post it and credit you as I am doing here for Lisa!  (You can use the handy Email Me button on the right hand side of the blog.)

It's especially timely as Penny, the winner of our Thanksgiving Contest, chose Balloons Over Broadway as her prize!  So without further ado:

Balloons Over Broadway
Written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Houghton Mifflin Books For Children, November, 2011, Non-Fiction Biography/History
Suitable For: ages 4-8
Themes/Topics:  art, puppeteering, pursuing a dream
Opening and brief synopsis:  "From the time he was a little boy, Tony Sarg loved to figure out how to make things move.  He once said he became a marionette man when he was only six years old."  Melissa Sweet tells the true story of Tony Sarg, inventor of the huge balloons that are the trademark and centerpiece of the Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade in New York City.
Links to resources:  this story is perfect for a curriculum section that covers art, history, biography, or Thanksgiving, or just as a good story for children interested in where things come from and how they work.  Balloons Over Broadway Activity Kit.  (Please be patient - the activity kit loads slowly because of all the art but it's well worth the wait!)  There is also a spread of interesting and helpful back matter at the end of the book to expand your lesson.

Why I like this book: this book is interesting, entertaining and educational.  Tony Sarg is an inspiration because he had little or no formal art education and yet he went on to pursue his dreams and become world-renowned for his work.  One of his apprentices, Bil Baird, created the "Lonely Goatherd" marionettes for The Sound Of Music, and one of Bil Baird's apprentices was Jim Henson who invented The Muppets!
For more books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books!

I can't wait to read everyone else's Perfect Picture Books for this Friday!  Don't forget to place your link in the list below so everyone can find you easily!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  November Pitch Pick coming Monday!  And I hope you'll all find a few minutes to work on your Holiday Contest entries (please scroll down that link for contest description and rules.)  A great prize could be yours :)

P.S.  I almost forgot!  The randomly selected winner of the November Perfect Picture Book contributor draw is Stacy!  Congratulations, Stacy!  You will receive your choice of a $10 Amazon gift card or a signed copy of Airplane Flight: A Lift-The-Flap-Adventure by yours truly :)


  1. I think this book looks like a gret story! I am going to try out the activity and show it to my little sister (I'm also going to ask my mom to get the book ;) ). I just entered my perfect picture book. I hope the link works this time!

  2. Talk about inspiring. Though I know if I tried that, I wouldn't have success like that. Even my stick men are pathetic.

  3. Of all the Thanksgiving picture books reviewed on blogs this year, this has been my favorite. I love how Tony Sarg persevered and followed his passion. Love the mentions of how his life went on to impact others! Great choice from Lisa.

  4. Looks like a fun read Susanna! Have a great weekend!!

  5. This is a wonderful read, Susanna! It is truly a super idea for a picture book. Tony Sarg was an inspiring guy. Have a wonderful weekend. *waving* :-)

  6. Sounds like a fun book and a fun example of a true story. I began working on my Christmas story on Thursday. Yikes! It seemed like a more adventurous choice than addressing Christmas cards. I'll have to do that today. I'll hope around to the other books later today.

  7. I have seen reviews of this book, and can hardly wait to hold it in my hand and read it for myself! Thanks, Susanna and Lisa!

  8. Me again... I've posted TWO perfect picture books this week, to get ready for "Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day" tomorrow! (Hope that's okay!)

  9. Erik - alas, your link hasn't worked yet - want to try again? And I think you'll love this book! It's really interesting. And the activities are fun - maybe a little young for you, but fun to share with your little sister!

    Stina - you and me both :)

    Joanna - I know, isn't it a wonderful one?

    Coleen - it really is. I learned a lot :) HAGW too!

    Robyn - I take it you've read it, then? I really thought it was terrific! HAGW too :)

    Stacy - YAY! I'm so happy that at least one person plans to enter! I think the prize is a good one :) (And I haven't even thought about xmas cards yet...!)

    Beth - you're going to love it! And yes! By all means yes! It is lovely that you're posting an extra book :)

  10. Hi :) It's Erik's Mom (Ginny),
    I saw your comment that his link didn't work so I put it in again and I think it's working now. I'm not sure what he's going incorrectly but we'll figure it out ;)
    I also wanted to give you a big THANK YOU for encouraging him!

  11. Hi Ginny - yes, it's working now :) Thanks for fixing it. And it's a pleasure to work with anyone so interested in and enthusiastic about reading, writing and blogging :) Several of us grown-ups have commented that Erik is a kid who's going places!

  12. That sounds like a great querky book that holds everybody's attention. What amazing links Tony has, I adore The Lonely Goatherd song and The Muppets!

    Congrats Stacy and I can't wait for the contest, I've written mine already :)

  13. Oh, I really like this book. It is entertaining and educational. I didn't know the story of Tony Sarg. It's amazing that he influenced so many famous artists. Such a great pick!

  14. Great book choice. Funny thing is it was on my list of books to post here.

  15. Lovely story!I have heard so much buzz about the book that I am going to hunt for it!

    I chose a family favorite book for PPBF but -ark!- it has no online resources that I can readily find! I am going to keep working on tracking something down online.

    Happy weekend everyone!

  16. bildebok -- can you make up your own activity suggestions? I've had to do that for a couple of books. it's kind of fun, actually.

  17. Catherine - yay! I'm so excited (and impressed!)

    Pat - I really enjoyed it!

    Darshana/Daisy? - its very popular for good reason!

    Cathy - I was going to say exactly what Beth said - you can just make up your own if you can't find anything online - she's right - it is fun :)

    Beth - great minds think alike :)

  18. Talk about wonderful. I always adored those balloons but never even considered the source of their existence. What a great Perfect Picture Book Friday choice.

  19. Sounds like a wonderful book! I need to start doing this on my "Abby" blog! Next week is my last week of school, so I'm hoping to get myself more organized! :)

  20. Angela - if you haven't read it, you should. I learned a lot :) (And I grew up in New York City, so you'd think i would have known more!)

    Leigh/Abby - oh, yes! Definitely join in! :)

  21. What a lovely book and it so reminded me of my trip to New York in 2009 for thanksgiving and the parade. I just managed to get here intime at no.13.

  22. Sounds like a fun read. I love true picture book stories. Since my grandchild is eight and still likes to cuddle up next to me while I read this may be a good choice for him. I'll put a hold on it for him and have it for when he comes over Christmas. Thanks for choosing this one and introducing it to us. :)

  23. Oh, I so want to read this book! Sounds like a great story. And since soooo many people make watching the parade part of their thanksgiving tradition, I'm sure a great many people will enjoy it.

  24. Very interesting picture book! Never heard of Tony Sarg till now. So cool that he is linked to both The Sound of Music and the Muppets!

    P.S.: I have made my big announcement. ;)

  25. Diane - I'm not that strict :) You could always add to the list a little late, you just might not get as much traffic :)

    Clar - I think anyone would find this book interesting. I liked it and I'm well over 8 :)

    Peggy - me too!

    Ruth - even if you've never seen the parade, the story is very interesting!

    J.C. - I know, cool right? And CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! (I went right over to see what it was :))


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