Balloons Over Broadway

Housekeeping Alert!

I updated the look and layout of this little blog. New header! New Widget-y thingys!

If you are seeing this in a Reader or via email, click over and check it out! I also made updates to the About and Book Trailers pages, and added a link to Other Work. AND, the carousel of images at the top of the Home page holds 5 images, and will rotate through older posts. I love this, because it’s so hard to say goodbye to one favorite book when it’s time for another! Ahem….like this one:

by Melissa Sweet

I adore Melissa Sweet’s work. And now that I just lost myself in her website for a good while, I adore her even more! I imagine she’s just like her site: vibrant, colorful, and exciting.

And this book is PHENOMENAL. Really. I have always been a huge fan of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and even wrote it into one of my defunct picture book manuscripts. That parade as a setting was a million times better than anything else that was in that book. Truly.

So three whooping cheers for a REAL book about this parade…a fantastic, beautiful, stunning book!

Melissa Sweet brings alive the work of Tony Sarg, the marionette engineer and puppeteer whose legacy bobs high above the street in massive helium creatures. Never heard of him? Me neither. But now I’m so thankful to know his story. It’s wildly creative and inspiring.

This. A flat, shiny title page. But doesn’t it look like you could plunge your arms directly into that shoebox diorama? Even though I know better, I still found myself running my fingers over the page, expecting to feel knots and bumps and holes.

In design, texture is used to create the appearance of a tactile surface. In the real world, you can touch and feel surfaces, and in graphic design, your eye reads the texture. Melissa Sweet’s mixed-media collages illustrate this principle beautifully.

Right?  I hope I’m not the only one whose paws have tried to flick off that button or lift the kooky puppet.

I love this gorgeous combination of painted illustration, torn paper, and a true to scale map of Manhattan.

Same here! The graphic panels combined with hand drawn typography and more paper scraps. A lot of story information is handled in the pictures and the way these textured graphics serve as both extra illustrations and extra words.

And in case you needed any more proof that Balloons Over Broadway is visually stunning, the inside back cover reveals the original New York Times ad for the 1933 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Trust me when I tell you there is SO MUCH MORE within the pages of this book. I didn’t want to spoil all the surprises, but you are in for a real treat with this book.

RUN TO THE LIBRARY OR YOUR NEAREST BOOKSTORE! Seriously! I don’t like to yell unless it’s extremely important.

{Balloons Over Broadway received both the 2012 Robert F. Sibert Medal and the 2012 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award, which both recognize outstanding non-fiction for children.}

Want more? Read this interview with Melissa Sweet about her research for Balloons Over Broadway. And don’t forget her’s filled to the brim with treats!

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27 thoughts on “Balloons Over Broadway

  1. Yowza! So inviting, so exciting! Nice use of complementaries: a pale robin’s egg background, pumpkin-squashed type, and shapely layers in your header. Love your biz-card widget too! And ‘stunning’ book is right – actually shed tears of joy in admiration – no kidding! Keep up the brilliant work!

  2. Your assessment of Melissa Sweet is right on. I was lucky enough to see her keynote address at the SCBWI Western Washington conference where she talked about working on this book. It was amazing and inspiring.
    The new blog look is great. Very lively. Keep up the good work.

  3. I love your new blog design and colors!! Congrats! I have perused M. Sweet’s web site and stared in awe. You know, as I was reading your post, I was thinking her “illustrations” are sort of like scrapbooking, which I love doing. A little of this, a little of that, all combined to a fabulous page!

  4. Love this post Carter! What an interesting book! I used to work at Macy’s (long ago) and I remember we had the option of being in the parade each year.

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