Balloons Over Broadway: The Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade. By Melissa Sweet. cassette or CD. 15 min. Recorded Books. 2012. cassette: ISBN 978-4703-2922-8, CD: ISBN 978-1-4703-2921-1. $15.75; hardcover book, ISBN 978-0-5471-9945-9: $16.99.
K-Gr 3–The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is a holiday tradition. But where did those big balloons begin? With puppeteer Tony Sarg, of course! The informative, enthusiastic text of Sweet’s Robert F. Siebert Medal picture-book biography (Houghton Mifflin, 2011) tells a little about Sarg’s life and his career in puppetry, adding a few quirky details sure to amuse listeners. Then it gets into the details of his part in the parade, and the evolution of creativity that led to the balloons we see today. John McDonough reads the text in a measured, clear manner—rather like the steady, rhythmic march of a band—giving listeners plenty of opportunity to explore Sweet’s inspired multimedia illustrations. The end notes give additional information on this fascinating but little-known character from history. A delightful example of good nonfiction that should capture the interest of young and old alike.–Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary, Federal Way, WA