Friday, December 12, 2014

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet

Four paw prints.  Have you ever watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?  Did you like the music, the floats, the balloons?  Did you ever wonder why this parade (and very few others) uses balloons?  Who came up with the idea of using balloons?  That person was Tony Sarg, a well know puppeteer from Europe who was encouraged by R. H. Macy.  Tony Sarg helped with the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in 1924.  But, there weren’t any giant balloons in this first parade.  Instead, there were real animals from the Central Park Zoo.  Soon after, Mr. Macy gave Tony Sarg a new challenge for the parade.  Replace the live animals!  We know that today’s parade has huge balloons, but how did a puppeteer go from marionettes hanging below strings to balloons floating above strings?  I thought this was a great book.  There are plenty of holiday books available to share with children, but this book and Thank You Sarah (see earlier post) are by far my two favorite Thanksgiving books.  I know there are other books that talk about the creation of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and the floats, but I don't feel any are as good as this book.  To learn more about Tony Sarg visit,   Or, to find more interesting books by Melissa Sweet visit,

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