Visual Literacy Discussion:
Background #1: The sketch above is an early drawing that Sweet created for the cover of the Balloons Over Broadway. The final jacket illustration is not exactly like this sketch. The central figure remains, as does the crowd and smaller balloons flying above it. But in the final art, instead of holding the tethers for balloons that spell out “balloons,” the central figure (presumably Sarg) is holding a huge tiger balloon that sails right off the page and extends around to the back side of the book’s cover.
Compare this image to the final book jacket — for discussion points and a larger image of this book jacket sketch go to jacket_balloonsoverbroadway.html
Note for discussion facilitator -- Possible discussion point: The publisher and illustrator may have talked about the fact that the parade never did have letter balloons—and the parade’s most successful balloons are are animal and character balloons. Also, the balloons were originally developed as a substitution for the many live animals that had been in the first few parades, which had scared many children along the parade route.
Idea for book jacket comparison originally published in Library Sparks; May/June 2012. Pages 38-41.
Visual Literacy Discussion:
Background #2: The sketch above is part of the dummy created for the second interior page of Sweet’s book. Like the cover, revisions were made to this page, as well. In the published book, Sweet changed the text on the opening panel. In this draft layout sketch we read that Sarg was born in Guatemala. That fact was left out of the book; instead, Sweet added a paragraph explaining that Tony’s idea was to use levers and pulleys to auto-mate his feeding chore so he could stay in bed a little longer. She eliminated the first sketch of the door/gate and reworked the illustration to show the activation sequence of the gadgets. In the lower four panels, words were rearranged and details added to most of the frames. Compare this sketch with the final version published in the book (2nd page after the title page, unpaged).
Compare this image to the final book interior illustration— for discussion points and a larger image of this book illustration sketch go to chickencoop_balloonsoverbroadway.html
Note for discussion facilitator --
When discussing the elimination of the gate in the first frame. Consider that perhaps the gate was removed because the illustration was redundant—the gate was incorporated into the next couple of sketches.
Before attempting to identify the bits and pieces of information that Sweet incorporates about Sarg in her illustration, make a master list of "Faces we know about Tony Sarg." These facts can be gleaned from the text in Sweet's book or research on the Internet or other print sources.
Then consider these ideas:
- The final illustrative panel in this sketch includes a picture on the wall that seems to foreshadow Tony’s interest in creating toys.
- The first panel in the bottom of this page Sweet shows the alarm clock ringing at 6:29.
- In the final panel where Tony is still in his bed, Sweet has placed another view of the alarm clock with the time set to a few minutes after 6:30. Between these two scenes, readers see three chickens busily eating, presumably the food made available by the system that Tony rigged.
- What else do students notice?
- What might they guess about Tony’s personality by the details Sweet provides?
Idea for interior sketch comparison originally published in Library Sparks; May/June 2012. Pages 38-41.
|Since Balloons Over Broadway is an informational book - intended to provide facts and true information, Sweet had to do a lot of research. Not only did the writing have to be accurate but the images did as well. Sweet found this 1920's era New York Bus Stop sign. It became a model for a piece of spot art on one of her double page spreads. See if you find where this sign shows up in Balloons Over Broadway.
||This is a preliminary sketch for the one page that makes readers turn the book to see. This sketch seems to be just the right one to create a vertical perspective. The balloon is a depiction of one of Sarg's "upside-down marionettes" rising up to the top of the sky.
|This preliminary sketch of a double-page spread seems not to have made it into the book although elements did. The puppet with the long nose is prevalent in the book, although apprentices are not mentioned at all. The note on the left side of the spread indicate that the small group of people on the left of the center gutter are intended to depict the apprentices that worked with Tony Sarg.