I just love the picture book, BALLOONS OVER BROADWAY. It’s a story about Tony Sarg, the first innovative puppeteer of Macy’s famous parade on Thanksgiving Day. It was written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, who is one of my favorite illustrators. This is not a new book it was published in 2011, but you might say it’s new to me. I heard a lot about it when it first came out, but had never really took the time to study it carefully. With the self quarantine, I have more time to really study, well written and designed children’s books. This one is now a must buy for my home collection.
“But what if the controls were Below and the puppets could rise up?”
–Balloons Over Broadway
BALLOONS OVER BROADWAY is a work of art, both for the writing, the research and the delightful illustrations and models. I didn’t know the story about the first Macy’s parade and didn’t know Tony Sparg’s part in making it SPECTACULAR. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but every page is a delight for the eyes. If I was my five year-old past self, I would be collecting materials right now to make my own puppets and marionettes. I hope you enjoyed this review.
I illustrate picture books for authors and publishers. If you would like to talk to me about illustrating and designing your picture book, fill in the form below. I like to talk to children’s book authors.
I haven’t posted on this blog since March when the quarantine was new. No one really knew what we were going into. Would it last a few weeks, a month, two months, or more? Well, now we know this is not going to be a quick fix. There is no telling when life will be back to normal.
I have used my time wisely. I have not heavily scheduled every minute, but have given myself time to breathe. I have taken the time to enjoy the spring weather outdoors and now it’s summer. I have taken many online classes through SCBWI and SVS and listened to podcasts about subjects I am interested in. I have read books and watched far too much NetFlix.I have given myself time to develop book ideas for picture books I plan to write and to nail down those elusive ideas that have been tapping on my shoulder for years. I never seemed to have enough time for my own projects in the past. I even managed to clean out a few closets and make a good start on cleaning the basement.
Sweet baby Ryan
Yes, I have missed seeing my family, who is spread far and wide. But with all the modern ways to stay in touch, it hasn’t been too isolating. My only regret is I haven’t been able to hold my brand new grandson in my arms. He was born April 2nd three weeks early right at the scary time of the quarantine. My son and daughter-in-law have been good about sending lots of pictures and videos. We Facetime and Zoom frequently, but I can’t hold his warm little body in my arms. I can’t smell his sweet downy head. I joked when he was born that I might not see him until he would be walking. I may not be too far off. We are hoping to see him in October if everything goes well in the U.S. with the virus.
I want to snuggle with him, read him picture books in all the funny voices, and teach him to be creative. It is so important for parents and grandparents to read to little ones starting when they are tiny. They should associate the loving, snuggling, and positive interaction with books and pictures.
Humor is what makes something funny. A sense of humor is the ability to recognize humor.
There is nothing quite as satisfying as reading a funny book to a child and watching them giggle and respond to the words and pictures. Reading to children increases their comprehension and reading funny books helps them to develop a keen sense of humor. Humor can teach children to become more creative.
Children and adults who laugh together are healthier and less likely to be depressed. A child with a well-developed sense of humor is happier and more optimistic. They have higher self-esteem and are more likely to be immune to bullying.
Next time you visit your book store or library, pick up a few humorous picture books to share with your little ones. You will both benefit from the giggles and laughter that ensue. Happy reading!
If trends continue, most jobs in the future will be taken over by robots. Robots perform repetitious jobs very well. They can even be programmed to perform complicated tasks that require much learning and skill. Workers that repair and code robots will be needed. But many people will be out of jobs.
The future will belong to the creative thinkers.
What type of workers will be the most valuable? People who do jobs that are impossible for robots to do. The most important jobs will be reserved for very creative people who are able to come up with totally new ideas and concepts. The inventors, innovators, and designers will rule.
“Creatrilogy” by Peter H. Reynolds
How do we prepare our kids for this future?
Young children need to be taught to think beyond what is available in typical school books. Children need to learn to open their imaginations very early in their lives. They will need to train their brains to imagine the unimaginable. To question established designs and ways of doing things.
Imaginative picture books with open-ended questions can help young children develop their creative side. Books that show unique ways to solve problems or interesting ways to look at the world. I have featured just a few of the many imaginative picture books that are available. It’s important to read to your children and ask, “What would you do?” or “how would you feel?” “Is there a better way of doing this?” You might be surprised by their answers.
By Jane Yolen and Chris Sheban
“It Came in the Mail” by Ben Clanton
By Donna Warwick, illustrated by Dayne Sislen
“Journey” by Aaron Becker
I illustrate picture books for children’s book authors. If you have a book you would like illustrated, contact me. I love to talk picture books.