Balloons Over Broadway

Readers Advisory

Other books by Melissa Sweet (style appeal):

Books about Thanksgiving Day Parades (subject appeal):

Corey, Shana. Milly and the Macy’s Parade. Concerned that the immigrant employees of New York City’s Macy’s department store are homesick at Christmas, a young girl inspires the store’s head to hold the first Macy’s Parade. Based on a true story; includes historical note. (

Wax, Wendy. The runaway turkey. At the Thanksgiving Day parade, the babies upstage Cornhusk Princess Angelica when they arrive on top of a giant turkey balloon. (

Books about Making Puppets (subject appeal):

Evans, Joy. How to make puppets with children. Offers pattern pieces for making thirty-seven hand puppets and twenty-six finger puppets to be used in a variety of curriculum areas. (

Kennedy, John. Puppet mania! Presents thirteen projects for making puppets out of household materials and gives tips on puppetry skills, such as lip synching, body motions, and eye contact and movement. (

Kennedy, John. Puppet planet: The most amazing puppet-making book in the universe. Step-by-step instructions explain how to create twelve puppets and perform with them, with professional staging techniques and tips for making puppets come alive for audiences. (

MacNeal, Noel. 10-minute puppets. Presents step-by-step instructions for creating thirty puppets, including finger puppets, sock puppets, and shadow puppets, and includes guides on how to build a puppet theater and put on a show. (

Picture Biographies of Other Uniquely Creative People (character appeal):

Barton, Chris. The day-glo brothers. The story of Joe and Bob Switzer who experimented with ultraviolet lights and fluorescent paints and invented a new kind of color called Day-Glo. (

Kerley, Barbara. The dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins: an illuminating history of Mr. Waterhouse Hawkins, artist and lecturer. Until the mid-1800s, no-one really knew what a dinosaur was – let alone what one looked like. So when Victorian artist Waterhouse Hawkins built the first life-size models he dazzled the world with his awe-inspiring creations. (

Krull, Kathleen. The boy on Fairfield Street: how Ted Geisel grew up to become Dr. Seuss. Introduces the life of renowned children’s author and illustrator Ted Geisel, popularly known as Dr. Seuss, focusing on his childhood and youth in Springfield, Massachusetts. (

Krull, Kathleen. The boy who invented tv: the story of Philo Farnsworth. This picture-book biography explains how Farnsworth held on to his dream to develop television and the scientific concepts behind it. (

Krull, Kathleen. Jim Henson: The guy who played with puppets. Chronicles the life of Jim Henson, describing how he pushed the boundaries of entertainment and brought the art of puppets to a new level with the creation of his Muppets. (

Martin, Jacqueline Briggs. Snowflake Bentley. A biography of a self-taught scientist who photographed thousands of individual snowflakes in order to study their unique formations. (

McCully, Emily Arnold. Marvelous Mattie: how Margaret E. Knight became an inventor. Mattie Knight loved to make things ranging from a foot warmer for her mother or toys for her older brothers. Or, when she was 12, a metal guard to prevent shuttles from shooting off looms and hurting workers. Later, Mattie invented a machine that could cut and glue the square-bottomed paper bags we still use today. Meet the woman known as “the Lady Edison.” (

Nobleman, Marc Tyler. Bill the boy wonder: the secret co-creator of Batman. Recounts the life of the unrecognized co-creator of the Batman comic strip and details the author’s quest to find out more about him. (

Speilman, Gloria. Marcel Marceau: Master of mime. From the age of 5, little Marcel Marceau knew he wanted to be a silent actor, just like Charlie Chaplin; when World War II intervened, he joined the Resistance, helping to save Jewish children during this dangerous time, but Marcel never forgot his dream of being a mime artist and went on to become one of the most renowned entertainers of the 20th century. (

Picture Books for Thanksgiving (subject appeal):

Bruchac, Joseph. Squanto’s Journey: the story of the first Thanksgiving. Squanto recounts how in 1614 he was captured by the British, sold into slavery in Spain, and ultimately returned to the New World to become a guide and friend for the colonists. (

Bunting, Eve. How many days to America? Refugees from a Caribbean island embark on a dangerous boat trip to America where they have a special reason to celebrate Thanksgiving. (

Cohen, Barbara. Molly’s Pilgrim. Told to make a doll like a pilgrim for the Thanksgiving display at school, Molly’s Jewish mother dresses the doll as she herself dressed before leaving Russia to seek religious freedom–much to Molly’s embarrassment. (

Hall, Donald. Ox-cart man. This award-winning book describes the year-round work of an early 19th-century New England family to bring in the harvest. (Mary Pettit)

Herman, Charlotte. The memory cupboard: a Thanksgiving story. When Katie breaks a gravy boat at Thanksgiving dinner, her grandmother shows her that love is more important than objects. (

Jonathan London. Giving thanks. A boy’s father celebrates the interconnectedness of the natural world through his daily words of thanks and assures his son, who finds it a little embarrassing to thank trees and such, that it becomes a habit and makes one feel good. (

McCully, Emily Arnold. An outlaw Thanksgiving. While travelling with her mother cross-country by train in 1896, a young girl unexpectedly shares Thanksgiving dinner with the notorious outlaw, Butch Cassidy. (

Swamp, Chief Jake. Giving thanks: a Native American good morning message. A Native American thanksgiving address, offered to Mother Earth in gratitude for her bounty and for the variety of her creatures, including human beings, is presented by a contemporary Mohawk chief who has delivered the address around the world. (

Melissa Sweet’s Readers Advisory List:

For Melissa Sweet’s list of books to go along with Balloons over Broadway, scroll down to last page in this guide:

More Robert F. Sibert Award Books:

Balloons over Broadway and Melissa Sweet have won many awards, including the 2012 Robert F. Sibert Medal, given to each year’s most distinguished informational book for children. Go to the “Sibert Medal Past Winners” link on left sidebar of the webpage below to find a list of past Siebert Award books:


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