Tuesday, November 1, 2016

In Twenty-Three Days

Is it too cliche to say that time is flying this fall?!  Growing up, my dad used to say, "Today is the 4th of July. Tomorrow is Christmas."   I am seriously in denial that Thanksgiving is a little more than three weeks away.  That means you have twenty-three days to get your hands on this book and read it to your kids, your grandkids, your friend's kids...yourself!  I'm being very honest when I say that I often check out books from the library for my kids because I want to read them myself!

throwback to Thanksgiving 2009

We have a tradition in our family on Thanksgiving morning.  Though I cook most of my Thanksgiving dinner contributions-- the cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and sweet potato biscuits-- on Thanksgiving Eve, I intentionally save the corn pudding for Thanksgiving morning. It only takes a few minutes to assemble, but it goes into the oven for 45 minutes and the aroma fills the house for much longer.  It is the smell of Thanksgiving for us.  When I bake corn pudding other times throughout the year, someone often remarks, "It smells like Thanksgiving in here."

While the pudding is baking, we watch the Thanksgiving Day parade on TV.  Sure, the televised version includes things besides the actual parade-- Broadway dancers, corny commentary, street interviews, and pre-recorded musical performances-- but we love it anyway because it says Thanksgiving to us and it is tradition.  My kids have never believed in Santa, but they still stick around until the end of the parade to see Santa come into town on his sleigh.

For my kids, the highlight of the parade is the balloons. They try to spot Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon, Greg from  Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Red from Angry Birds. They look for classics, too, like Snoopy and Sonic the Hedgehog and Buzz Lightyear.

We discovered Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet this year.  Sweet is also the author of Some Writer which I read and recommended in October.  Both books have mixed-media  collage-style illustrations which I find fascinating and draw me in almost as much as the story {no pun intended!}.

Balloons Over Broadway is the biographical story of Tony Sarg, the puppeteer who designed the first large helium balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The balloons debuted at the 1928 Parade and were not "characters" like many of the balloons are today.  These first balloons, controlled by men holding long ropes, were shaped like zoo animals. Sarg called them "upside-down marionettes."  Sarg continued working with the Parade and did eventually collaborate with Walt Disney to design character balloons, including a Mickey Mouse balloon which made its first appearance in 1934.

The book also details Sarg's background as a child who "loved to figure out how things moved."  This aspect resonated with me, the mom of just such a child. Sarg used his curiosity and ingenuity to shape his career.

This is not a new book.  It was published back in 2011 which ironically is when I published a list of Thanksgiving-themed books that we loved at our house that year...and still love five years later. 

Click the square below for more Thanksgiving books!

What are your Thanksgiving Day traditions?
Do you watch the parade?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the recommendation(s)! I put this on hold. Because I am still not too old for a good picture book. :)


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