Reader Engagement Project:

Turn Readers into Puppeteers

In the non-fiction picture book, Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), readers meet the brilliant and playful inventor / artist / puppeteer, Tony Sarg.  The young boy that made puppets and other clever creations became the one of the greatest innovators in puppetry and the inventor of the grandest parade spectacle in America -the Macy’s Parade balloons.

Imagine inspiring your readers to create puppets of their own either right after a reading of this Sibert Book Medal winning book or on Thanksgiving morning while they are watching the parade march by on their televisions (how great to have them actively creating and playing rather than just passively watching!)  We have even designed an “Invitation” that you can hand out after a reading to remind readers to download and use the kit during the parade.

With the Balloons Over Broadway Activity Kit readers can:

• Color and snip “Paddle Puppets” to be used as masks or pretend parade participants.

• Color and accordion a “Dragon Stick Puppet” to shimmy down the parade route.

• Snip out adorable “Finger Puppets” for an entire cast of characters for a play of their invention.

• Find their way along the “Parade Route Maze.”

• Design their own “Parade Balloon.”

• Sport a “Parade Hat.”

(This Activity Kit was created by Melissa Sweet with input from Curious City. )

Balloons Over Broadway Dragon Stick Puppet

Tools for Engagement:

• Download Balloons Over Broadway Activity Kit (PDF)
Download Invitation for Readers to use the Activities on Thanksgiving Morning (PDF)

Download Balloons Over Broadway Educators Guide
(Created by Grace Enriquez of the The Classroom Bookshelf)

Best Users:

Booksellers, Public Children’s Librarians, School Librarians, Pre-K-4 Classrooms, Families

Best Audience:

Children Grades PreK-4

Based on the Book:

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade
By Melissa Sweet
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Available in Hardcover
Ages 4 and up

Find a copy of the book:
Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | Local Library

Balloons Over Broadway Finger Puppets


  1. Looks really fun! Would love to win the kit and do an activity with the kids from our small city!

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