Balloons over Broadway and Printable Puppet

I know my daughter really likes a book when she goes and grabs it or requests it the very next night.  When I also like the book, I seriously consider buying it!  That is how it happened this week with Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet.

The author/illustrator also happens to be one of my favorites.  Her art is amazing: interesting and bold compositions, often child-like yet highly skilled pencil lined forms, lush watercolors that run from pastels to brights (but never too “bubble-gummy”).  She also incorporates collage items which are always fun to search out and study.

She is the illustrator of zillions of children’s books including A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant, a Caldecott Honor book.

Balloons over Broadway is about Tony Sarg a puppeteer commissioned by Macy’s to create puppets for their parade.  BTW, I love picture non-fiction books!  As the parade grew and became more and more popular the puppets needed to evolve into something much larger to be able to be seen by the crowds of people.  Tony Sarg is responsible for designing the innovative balloon puppets we watch as the highlight of the Macy’s parade on Thanksgiving Day.

Articulating puppet project 

Follow up this story about puppets and creativity with a small print-and-color puppet project.  You just need some (preferably) mini attachment brads, card-stock, and something pointy to make the holes.


  1. Print the following PFD on card-stock: Articulating Puppet
  2. Color if you like and cut out the body and arm and leg pieces
  3. Punch or pierce small holes at locations shown
  4. Join the body parts together with mini brads
  5. Start posing!

To take a peak into Melissa Sweet’s amazingly festive and creative world, check out her website!



I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


    • I colored in Gimp and tried to make it look like crayon but you are right, they look like highlights because of the locations (I wish I used brighter colors too – next time – fun to experiment). Thanks!

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