Balloons Over Broadway

The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade

Sweet, Melissa

(Book - 2011)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Balloons Over Broadway
Award-winning artist 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 Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Publisher: Boston, MA : Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, c2011.
ISBN: 0547199457
Characteristics: 1 v. (unpaged) :,ill. (chiefly col.) ;,24 x 29 cm.


From Library Staff

Comment by: JCLMeganB May 30, 2013

Balloons Over Broadway is a wonderful true story with great illustrations.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Tony Sarg started his career at age 6 when he invented a way to feed the family’s chickens from his bed, and went on to make marionettes, giving him the skills to create the first set of balloons used in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Picture book format, full color illustrations.

Apr 04, 2014
  • Heather Glenna Fortuny rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I am sure a lot of research and work went into the production of this book. I thoroughly appreciate this.
It is an interesting story of a person's attitude towards life being that of a fun challenge rather than an obstacle. Imagination used for creating is not "work like". It is playing...

May 30, 2013
  • JCLMeganB rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Balloons Over Broadway is a wonderful true story with great illustrations.

This book is a great problem solving book. This book was a tribute to Tong Sarg. I recommend this book because it tackles historical topics and makes them interesting to children. The illustrations are interesting and help keep the children's attention. This book takes the reader back in the past before we had all the technology. This book can be read at anytime but since Thanksgiving is a focal point in the book, it can be read around that time period to put emphasis on the importance of it. Creativity is sparked after reading this book. An important event marked in the reader's calender of this book should be the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.

The story called Balloons over Broadway is an amazing, heartwarming story that I recommend for children to read. I think this story portrays that children should always follow their dreams, always do what they want to do in life and achieve whatever that goal is. This story takes place at Thanksgiving in 1924 and the main character Tony Sarg is a fantastic example that anything is possible, and that dreams do come true. Tony develops a love for puppets and marionettes which progressed into a career and show in the Macy's parade. I think this is a great story for children and parents to read.

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet is a wonderful story with an amazing plot line. The main character, Tony, is a great inspiration to all children. He demonstrates how one should always follow their dreams and to persevere. This story is a great source to read to children during Thanksgiving time or to make a great activity out of for the week of Thanksgiving.

I would definitely recommend this book for all ages five and older. I believe this story because it is true it gives reader a since of hope that they to can fulfill their dreams to become great artists like Tony. Tony is very inspiring to many others including myself; I think that this book should be read more so during Thanksgiving time, since the story takes place on Thanksgiving day in 1924.

I definitely recommend this book by Melissa Sweet. It’s a wonderful book that give us an inside view of how Tony Sarg started the Parade Industry has its known today. The Macy’s Parade that takes place every year in New York City created a new beginning for employee’s appreciation to celebrate Thanksgiving. This testament of how productive can be for a company to cherish its employees something that it has been forgotten today. The life of Tony Sarg as portrait in this book; it’s a life of happiness, hard work, dedication, motivation, and hope. I really enjoy this book because Tony Sarg was an inspiration for some of the greatest Puppeteers including Jim Hanson who invented the Muppets, one of my favorite shows during my childhood.

Balloons Over Broadway is a wonderful children's book that tells the story of how the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade came about. Tony Sarg is the main character of the book, and the story tells how he, as a kid, developed a love for puppets. This love for puppets landed him an opportunity with Macy's to put his talents of bringing things to life for the parade. As the years went by, Tony changed his concept of puppets and started making inflatable figures, which is what we now see at today's present Macy's Parades. I highly recommend this book for children because of how the illustrations engage a child's attention. The colors, images, and ways that get the reader involved are great for students and it tells a little bit of history which is also great.

Feb 09, 2012
  • MissJen rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I've never actually watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but I still found Melissa Sweet's exploration of the life of Tony Sarg, the puppeteer originally behind the giant balloons used in the parade, fascinating. While I'd never contemplated how those giant balloon characters came to be, I think kids, particularly those who are crafty or mechanical minded, will be immediately drawn in. The text is great, but the illustrations are the true star here. Sweet packs in the details and her mixed media illustrations reward readers who take the time to pore over them slowly. Every bit is carefully selected and put together including some recreations of Sarg's actual toys and puppets. Sweet ends with an author's note, acknowledgements and a bibliography while the endpapers highlight two of her sources - Tony Sarg's Marionette Book and a 1933 New York Times ad for the parade.


Add Age Suitability

jazmjoh thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 4 and 8

CourtneyHendon thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 5 and 10

KLalala thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

asrushing2014 thinks this title is suitable for 5 years and over

Nancy J Mata thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 5 and 9

BradyRhys thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 5 and 9


Add a Summary

This book is about Tony Sarg, the creator of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Large Balloons are flown in the parade. Puppets were Sarg's inspiring characters for the balloons. The history behind the Sarg and how the parade came about is explored in this book.

Melissa Sweet and the story Balloons over Broadway is about a boy named Tony Starg. The boy has a fantastic talent and imagination. His talent progresses into making a parade which brings joy to all in the city of New York on Thanksgiving in 1924 called the Macy's parade.

Melissa Sweet tells an amazing story about a guy name Tony Sarg. He was the man call on when inventions, ideas, or events needed assistance. He constructed one of the largest parades in the world, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. New York, NY residents were steadily entertained from Tony's dream making.

A story about a boy named Tony Sarg who has a very active imagination at an early age. This story is truly motivational and inspiring for children that believe and need the inspiration whether they are young or old. Tony Sarg lets his imagination take hold and creates great floats for Thanksgiving day in 1924 and has the of New York City jumping with joy.

Melissa Sweet tells the wonderful story of Tony Sarg, the man behind one of the largest parades in the world, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. With the help of beautiful illustrations, she tells the history of the parade and how it became what it is today.

Feb 09, 2012
  • MissJen rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the biggest parades in the entire United States. Every year, one of the highlights of the parade are the giant balloon characters that fill up the New York City streets. But how did these giant balloons come to be? Who came up with the idea? The answer is Tony Sarg (rhymes with aargh!), a puppeteer and toy maker that Macy's first hired to do their Christmas windows and then to work on their Thanksgiving Day parade. Sarg loved puppets and marionettes from a very young age, so when Macy's asked for something spectacular to replace live animals in the parade, Sarg immediately turned to puppetry. His puppets so far had only been about 3 feet tall though, so he knew if he used those in the parade no one would be able to see them. How could they be bigger - much bigger? And if they were much bigger, where would the strings go? Soon Sarg was off and running with ideas and a parade legend was born!

Melissa Sweet tells the story of Sarg's life and accomplishments and accompanies it with illustrations that combine watercolors, paper scraps, bits of fabric, buttons and other small objects. You'll want to take your time over this picture book biography of a little-known, but fascinating, creative talent. Winner of the 2011 Sibert Award for best children's informational book.


Add a Quote

Many of the people working at Macy's were immigrants, and as the holiday approached, they missed their own holiday traditions of music and dancing in the streets. Macy agreed to put on a parade for their employees, and they hired Tony to help.

"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."

" Macy's had heard about Tony's puppets and asked him to design a "puppet parade" for the store's holiday windows."

"With a marionette, the controls are above and the puppet hangs down.."

“I have never done a stroke of work in my life” by Tony Sarg

"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."


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.

Find it at My Library


Powered by BiblioCommons.
app10 Version musli Last updated 2015/02/24 14:10