It tells the story of the man who brought the balloons to the parade...how he went from balloons on sticks to how they became "upside down marionettes". The images are fabulous, and illustrations are a great mentor text for publishing.
Beyond that, it was a great activity for that crazy day before Thanksgiving break. I read the book and then told the students that in honor of this history, they are going to create their own balloon to be in the parade. I explained that they add balloons each year depending on what the trends are that year. Therefore, what balloon should make next years parade?
They were given a long piece of paper, on part of it they were to design their balloon..even add how the balloon will look, and then write a persuasive letter on why their balloon should be chosen (2-3 details). They were quite convincing and artistic:
Harry Potter Balloon (snitch)
Green Bay Balloon
Hugo Cabret Balloon
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Students were silent as they hovered over their creations and couldn't wait to share not only their balloon but what they had to say about why their balloon should be picked.
It was a great day before break!