Balloons Over Broadway

Title: Balloons Over Broadway

Author(s): Melissa Sweet

Balloons Over Broadway

Illustrator/Photographer: Melissa Sweet

Publisher and Year: Houghton Mifflin Books, 2011

Number of pages: 34

Tags/Themes: Award Book, Fine Arts, Non-fiction, Meagan DeSalvo, 4-5, 6-8,
Caldecott Award

Genre: Biography

Descriptive Annotation:  A Robert F. Sibert Medal winner and a Caldecott Honor winner, Balloons Over Broadway is deemed the true story of the puppeteer of Macy’s Parade. In the very beginning of the picture book is a page excerpt from The Tony Starg Marionette Book. At the end of the book is an author’s note describing more about the life of Tony Starg. Both aspects serve as nice extensions for the more advanced or intrigued students. The author also describes her methods for creating the art in the book. The story describes the story of Tony Starg and his process to creating the now popular Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The process starts with Tony as a young boy and his interest in marionettes. Each of the ornate pictures follows his thinking process in eventually creating the balloons in the parade. The illustrations on each page are done in watercolors and create busy pages. There is so much to look at on the pages.  Before reading the book, students might want to be familiar with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: The illustrations create an engaging read. There are small details on each of the page that would cater to the perceptive students. The artwork tells a story in itself. If done in such a way, the text serves as a supplement to the artwork on each page. Students are not only learning about Tony Starg but also the history of the parade. Through history the parade had to change as well due to limited materials available during World War II. This book is a subtle way of looking at the history of the United States through the 20th century.

Interdisciplinary Connections: This text addresses Social Studies and the Fine Arts directly. Though the history of Tony Starg, the parade, and the United States, Social Studies is present in the book. Plus, the author goes into detail at the end on how she created the illustrations in the book. Students could use this is create their own watercolor pieces. It is all about the processBalloons Over Broadway (2)

Other Information: This book was quite cute. It was insightful into how the Macy’s Day parade came to be today. I learned about a piece of history that I was fairly unfamiliar with.

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