Perfect Picture Book Friday – Balloons Over Broadway AND The Linda Ashman Rhyme Clinic Announcement

Wow!  Aren’t we all so glad it’s Friday?  Not only is the weekend so close you can taste it, we get a whole stack of Perfect Picture Books to start it off right!

I have a great book to share today, which I think is just perfect given that the Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is only 3 weeks away.  And yes, those of you who have been here from Perfect Picture Books’ inception will know that I am totally cheating and recycling a perfect picture book that I already did on December 2, 2011 .  Here’s my excuse:

1. I did this for the 2nd week of PPBF back when only 9 of you were involved… so I’m hoping guessing a lot of you haven’t seen it 🙂

2. I just plain ran out of time this week.  Got my finger in too many pies or something, apparently 🙂  And I am doing a Young Writer’s Workshop on Sunday which I’m not done preparing for, so I needed every second I could snatch.

So, my apologies if you’ve seen this before, but if you haven’t I think you’ll love it and my advice is get thee to a library lickety-split so you can see the whole thing for yourself because it’s really great!

Title: Balloons Over Broadway
Written and Illustrated By: Melissa Sweet
Houghton Mifflin Books For Children, November, 2011, Non-Fiction Biography/History

Suitable For: ages 4-8

Themes/Topics:  art, puppeteering, pursuing a dream, non-fiction, biography

Opening and brief synopsis:  “From the time he was a little boy, Tony Sarg loved to figure out how to make things move.  He once said he became a marionette man when he was only six years old.”  Melissa Sweet tells the true story of Tony Sarg, inventor of the huge balloons that are the trademark and centerpiece of the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade in New York City.

Links to resources:  this story is perfect for a curriculum section that covers art, history, biography, or Thanksgiving, or just as a good story for children interested in where things come from and how they work.  Balloons Over Broadway Activity Kit.  (Please be patient – the activity kit loads slowly because of all the art but it’s well worth the wait!)  There is also a spread of interesting and helpful back matter at the end of the book to expand your lesson.

Why I like this book: this book is interesting, entertaining and educational.  Tony Sarg is an inspiration because he had little or no formal art education and yet he went on to pursue his dreams and become world-renowned for his work.  One of his apprentices, Bil Baird, created the “Lonely Goatherd” marionettes for The Sound Of Music, and one of Bil Baird’s apprentices was Jim Henson who invented The Muppets!

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Now, just one more quick thing before you head off to read everyone’s perfect picks for this week.

The Linda Ashman Rhyme Clinic!

As I mentioned somewhere at some point 🙂 the one and only Linda Ashman will be HERE!!! on Monday December 2 conducting a Rhyme Clinic!!!

The purpose of the Rhyme Clinic is to help writers with those pesky rhyming difficulties that snarl up our perfectly good works-in-progress!  Writers who have picture book manuscripts written in rhyme who feel that the rhyme is perhaps not working as well as they’d like are encouraged to submit samples and questions.

Any writer who would like Linda’s help may email the first 20 lines of their rhyming picture book manuscript along with any specific questions to susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com with “Rhyme Clinic Submission” in the subject line between now and Monday November 18.

I will forward the submissions on to Linda.

Linda’s reasoning for requesting the first 20 lines is that:  “Submitting the first stanzas of their story, up to 20 (or so) lines, I think works better than sending only problem stanzas because it gives me a decent sense of their story and allows me to comment on how well the stanzas work as a beginning in addition to how well they work as rhyme.”

Submissions will NOT be chosen on a first-come first-served basis.  Instead, Linda will look over the submissions and choose as wide a variety as possible in order to address as many types of problems as she can, and therefore hopefully help the greatest number of readers.

Linda will go over the chosen manuscripts in detail, examining what works well and what needs work and explaining how to correct problems in rhyme.

In the interest of keeping the Rhyme Clinic post to a manageable length, we will probably choose about 5 submissions.  If we get a lot of submissions, we will run another day or two of the clinic as  our schedules permit.

This promises to be a VERY interesting and informative learning experience.  It’s a chance to get expert guidance from one of the best in the business at no cost!

So dig out those troublesome rhyming manuscripts and send them forth on the double!

Enjoy this week’s crop of Perfect Picture Books, everyone!  PPBF bloggers, please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!

Have a great weekend!!!

Oh, and P.S.  Great post with everyone’s favorite writerfella Mike Allegra on Monday, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel!  See you then! 🙂

49 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Balloons Over Broadway AND The Linda Ashman Rhyme Clinic Announcement

  1. bgruener says:

    Would I love to have my finger in a caramel apple pie right now! Thanks for always hosting PPBF, even when life is moving along at warp speed. Barbara

  2. Catherine Johnson says:

    Lots of splendid goings on. I hope I have a rhyming one, I don't think I do. What a waste. Shall I whip one up now lol? Best wishes with your workshop thing.

  3. iza trapani says:

    I haven't read this story yet, but I love Melissa's art!
    The rhyme clinic is such a great opportunity. You, and Linda, are so wonderful for offering it!

  4. Wendy Greenley says:

    I do know this book, but you're right, it is wonderful and deserves many shout outs! Every NF workshop I go to mentions it. Your rhyming clinic sounds amazing. If your husband isn't taking you out to dinner to relax, tell him he should. Or have pizza delivered. You deserve a rest, Susanna. 🙂

  5. Teresa Robeson says:

    I'm so excited about the rhyming clinic, I almost forgot about the PPBF feature! 😉 I have no rhyming story to submit but I can't wait to see what she says about the ones submitted.

    Balloons Over Broadway sounds very cool; I can't wait to read it myself!

    For Christmas, I hope you ask Santa for extra hours in your day. 😉 Happy Friday!

  6. Joanne Roberts says:

    What a fantastic opportunity from you and Linda. Thanks, Susanna. And Melissa Sweet's excellent book needs to be touted whenever the opportunity arises. Besides, though I know about Balloons Over Broadway, I have never read your review or explored your links. So thanks!!

  7. Beth Stilborn says:

    You are certainly allowed to recycle a fabulous post when you have your fingers in so many pies at once (mmmm… pie….) I *love* Balloons Over Broadway, and that snippet of information showing the “genealogy” of some of the most eminent puppeteers around is fascinating!

    I'm trying to do weekly themes this month, the theme likely being obvious to only myself. 😉 I posted about PiBoIdMo on Monday, and my PPBF choice is a book written by one of the PiBoIdMo guest posters. Kindergarten ROCKS! by Katie Davis is great fun.

  8. patientdreamer says:

    I have never seen this little cutie of a book. I should just find it so I can dream about the time I went to the New York Thanks Giving Day Parade a few years ago. It was wonderful, I was so blown away by how big the balloons were, how there were just crowds and crowds of people (and so orderly) an experience I will never forget. We stayed in the hotel next door to Macey's.on Broadway, above Penn Station. Magical time!

  9. Patricia Tilton says:

    This is such a beautiful book. Thank you for reminding me was looking for a book to buy. Kids love the parade and this book doesn't disappoint.

  10. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Do I have a rhyming picture book manuscript that I am working on that would benefit from Linda Ashman's expert appraisal? Do bees make honey? Does peanut butter go with jelly? 🙂 🙂 YES! YES! YES!

    What a wonderful opportunity, Susanna…even if the lines I submit aren't chosen, the clinic will be amazing! I'm marking it on my calendar.

    I love your pick…I do remember it…but the best thing about great picture books is that we want to read them over and over again. And since my husband and I went to the city almost every weekend when we were dating and for the first five years of our marriage to eat at an Indian restaurant at 144 W.46th Street (right off Broadway), the book brings back fond memories.:)

    Thank you for all you do for us, Susanna!

  11. Sue Heavenrich says:

    I love Balloons over Broadway! my PPBF links are for last week because I didn't remember there was no PPBF last week. but, hey, they're still hot off the press….

  12. Linda Ashman says:

    I, too, love BALLOONS OVER BROADWAY — and pretty much everything Melissa Sweet does. She's so talented! And I'm thrilled to be doing the Rhyme Clinic here, Susanna. Thanks for having me–can't wait to start reading!

  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Isn't it amazing? So beautifully done! And it has a special place in my heart because I grew up in NYC and saw that parade many times. My parents had a friend whose apartment overlooked Central Park West, so we could go there, not be cold :), and have the best possible view from the windows – it was FUN! 🙂


  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Melissa Sweet is certainly uber-talented! I just did Little Red Writing for PPBF a few weeks ago and that's her illustrations too! I'm thrilled that you're doing the Rhyme Clinic – so generous of you! – and I know we'll all learn a lot! Fingers crossed we get some submissions 🙂

  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Well, I did feel like I was cheating posting a repeat, but sometimes you've just gotta do what you've gotta do! Thanks for being nice about it, because I know you were there at the beginning, Stacy 🙂 And yeah, I think Linda's clinic is going to be fabulous and so educational. I can't wait!

  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I'm really looking forward to it, Pat. It was incredibly generous of Linda to offer. Feel free to submit something if you've got any rhyme that's troubling you… although from your contest entry I'd say you're pretty good at rhyme 🙂

  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Linda and I will eagerly anticipate a submission from you Vivian (although I think you're pretty good at rhyming already :)) And I feel the same way about BALLOONS having grown up in NYC and gone to the Thanksgiving Day parade almost every year – it brings back a different kind of fond childhood memory for me 🙂

  18. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I'm so looking forward to Linda's clinic, too, Teresa! I know it will be fabulous! BALLOONS is really a gorgeous book and i highly recommend a trip to the library to check it out. Good idea about Christmas… I hadn't thought of asking Santa 🙂

  19. pennyklostermann says:

    I didn't get a review done for today! I actually have a whole stack of books that I looked through, but none we “perfect” enough!
    I love that you reviewed Balloons Over Broadway again. I LOVE that book! It's amazing.
    I'm very excited about the clinic with Linda!

  20. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know! That happens to me sometimes. I pick out a whole bunch of books thinking surely there will be something, and I end up thinking “meh” about the whole bunch and then I panic because I don't have a book 🙂 I'm glad you're excited about Linda's clinic! I am too. I hope we get some submissions!

  21. Chapter Book Chat says:

    The Linda Ashman Rhyme Clinic is such a great pportunity! I'm passing on the word to all my southern Colorado SCBWI colleagues!

  22. Rhythm says:

    I've seen the book, but not the review. Thanks for reposting it! This book looks intriguing and I think I'll be looking for itF!f

  23. Tracy Campbell says:

    Hi Susanna,
    Your book reviews are always a delight to read.
    I'm looking forward to the rhyming clinic. I'll definitely be sending you an email as I'd love to participate.
    Have a happy weekend. 🙂

  24. disqus_bENDymTlMv says:

    I LOVE Balloons Over Broadway. Perfect PPBF pick! I saw in my daughter's scholastic flyer there's a book about Albert Einstein that looks cute, On a Beam of Light, speaking of NF and whatnot… I just came up with an idea and first line for a rhyming PB yesterday! Probably won't be ready, but can't wait for Linda Ashman's rhyme clinic! 😀

  25. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    On A Beam Of Light has gotten excellent reviews, Meg! I think a couple people did it for PPBF, and if I ever finish updating we will all know for sure 🙂 Linda wants the submissions in by November 18, so write fast! Otherwise, maybe we'll do it again 🙂

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