Let’s have a parade!

Everyone’s a New Yorker on Thanksgiving Day, when young and old rise early to see what giant new balloons will fill the skies for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Who first invented these "upside-down puppets"? Meet Tony Sarg, puppeteer extraordinaire! In brilliant collage illustrations, Caldecott Honor artist Melissa 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 Parade.

Find this award winning picture book biography at local independent bookstores, through IndieBound, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or in your local library.

FOR EDUCATORS: There are a number of  great ways to share this picture book biography  with readers of all ages. Download the EDUCATOR’S GUIDE, the ACTIVITY KIT including templates for making finger puppets and designing  your own parade balloons.

Here’s a short video celebrating the Texas Bluebonnet Nomination.

The University of Minnesota Kerlan Collection created the Engineering of a Picture Book, a comprehensive digital resource about the making  this picture book biography.


ALA Sibert Medal

NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children

Bank Street College of Education Cook Prize honoring the best science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) picture book

Bank Street College of Education Flora Stieglitz Straus Award

Sweet’s brilliant combination of collage, design, illustration and text give Balloons Over Broadway an amazing richness. . . [no one] will ever see the parade in the same way.
— Pete Hamill, The New York Times Book Review
ony Sarg, the man who invented the giant balloons of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, has found a worthy biographer in Caldecott Honoree Sweet. The rush that comes from inspiration, the cliffhanger moments of creation, the sheer joy of building something and watching it delight the multitudes—Sweet captures it all in what is truly a story for all ages.
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
Sweet tells this slice of American history well, conveying both Sarg’s enthusiasm and joy in his work as well as the drama and excitement of the parade. . .This one should float off the shelves.
— School Library Journal, starred review
This clever marriage of information and illustration soars high.
— Kirkus, starred review
Sweet’s artwork is as joyous an affair as its subject.
— Bulletin
A joyous piece of nonfiction that informs and delights in equal parts.
— Booklist, starred review
Sweet’s whimsical mixed-media collages, embellished with little dolls she made herself out of odds and ends, reinforce the theme that, for Sarg, work was play.
— Horn Book, starred review