Congratulations to Melissa Sweet for winning the 2012 SCBWI Golden Kite award for picture book! Balloons Over Broadway is the wonderfully told and illustrated story of puppeteer Tony Sarg, the creative force behind Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. I had never heard of Mr. Sarg and haven’t seen the parade in New York, even on TV. The idea of watching TV during a family holiday was unthinkable while I was growing up. But, Melissa’s book has given me a new appreciation for the parade and the artistry behind it.
I love how Melissa combines watercolor paintings with collage and 3 dimensional objects. It’s encouraging to see sculptural illustration recognized this way. Melissa and I met years ago at a conference and I was struck by her unbounded creativity and willingness to experiment with all kinds of materials in her artwork. We’ve been in contact more recently, when I asked if I could use these images in my slide talk about the joys and challenges of 3 dimensional illustration. It turns out that we have the same publisher (Houghton Mifflin) and that both of our books were photographed by Rick Kyle of 5000K.
Reading and looking at the pictures in Balloons Over Broadway is a delightful experience. I’m so excited for you, Melissa!