Review: Balloons Over Broadway

Balloons Over Broadway :: Children's Book Review
Image Source: University of Minnesota Gallery

Balloons Over Broadway

Author + Illustrator: Melissa Sweet

Published in 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Balloons Over Broadway is the fascinating true story of Tony Sarg, the brilliant puppeteer behind the beloved Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Ever since he was a young child, Tony had a creative mind that loved to figure out how to make things move. When Macy’s created their parade, they enlisted his help. This intricate book illustrates the long, thoughtful process of how the admired balloons for the famous festivity evolved and improved throughout the years into what they are today. Readers will see how much time and hard work Tony Sarg dedicated to the elaborate production of the magnificent helium-filled balloons known for being the trademark of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Melissa Sweet’s incredible artwork is a bright and beautiful mix of media with watercolor and collage starring treasured photographs and newspaper clippings.

*Caldecott Honor Award

It was a true honor to have the adored Melissa Sweet visit us at the University of Minnesota. And let me assure you, that last name could not fit her any better! She is a lovely human who shared her experiences and her journey creating this book. Her presentation was engaging, entertaining, and enjoyable. AND I got her autograph in my own personal copy of Balloons Over Broadway. {April 12, 2017}

Here at the University of Minnesota, we are home to the prestigious Kerlan Collection, a children’s literature archive containing original manuscripts and illustrations from countless children’s books. I have had the honor of visiting the Kerlan Collection and personally seeing some of these rare gems. Balloons Over Broadway happens to be one of the books with original artifacts in the collection! I personally took these photographs to showcase some of Melissa Sweet’s earliest visions for her artwork.

*To learn more about the Kerlan Collection and its history visit

Additional Resources:

Author and illustrator Melissa Sweet website:

Art of the Picture Book interview with author and illustrator Melissa Sweet:


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