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Tony Baloney Hardcover – January 1, 2011
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—It is Pen Pal Month at school and macaroni penguin, Tony Baloney, can't wait to write to his new friend Sam. After exchanging letters, it seems that Sam is a lot like Tony; they both play baseball, ride scooters, and love reading spooky stories. Tony can hardly wait for the class pizza party when they get to meet. When he can't find Sam in the crowd of kids, Tony is initially disappointed that his friend didn't make it. Then he is horrified when he discovers that Sam DID make the party but is indeed a girl. After a pep talk from his teacher, Tony decides to give it a go and lo and behold, Sam is just as awesome as he had hoped. This entry in the series is filled with the familiar characters of bossy Big Sister and Tony's stuffed animal Dandelion. Told in four short chapters, with large illustrations done in primary colors, the book's theme would fit nicely in lessons about having friends that are different than yourself. VERDICT A solid addition to most easy reader collections.—Amy Nolan, St. Joseph Public Library, St. Joseph, MI --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Tony Baloney is a macaroni penguin� begins this odd duck of a picture book, and he likes fish tacos and Little Green Walrus Guys. If that doesn�t make a whole lot of sense to you, well, buckle up. In the world of Tony Baloney�the troublesome middle child in a family of penguins�nonsense and exaggeration are par for the course. When they play, Tony�s big sister always gets to be the Boss of the World, while Tony always has to be the kitty. (No, this doesn�t make sense, but kids� play worlds rarely do) Frustration leads to acting out, and soon Tony is commiserating with his stuffed animal Dandelion inside their cardboard box hideout: �After Tony Baloney has been in the hidey-space for maybe a year, or twenty minutes, he feels a teensy bit lonely, and Dandelion feels a teensy bit like apologizing.� Ryan fills the story with memorably random details (what�s up with everyone�s obsession with Parmesan cheese?), and Fotheringham�s digitally rendered illustrations give things a Crayola-bright pizzazz. Totally goofy, but totally fun. Preschool-Grade 1. --Daniel Kraus
Top customer reviews
Pam Muñoz Ryan, illus. by Edwin Fotheringham, Scholastic Press, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-545-23135-0
Ryan's (The Dreamer) exuberant story takes a fresh look at sibling dynamics from the perspective of a beleaguered macaroni penguin caught between bossy Big Sister Baloney and twin Bothersome Babies Baloney. "When it is absolutely necessary, or most of the time," Tony Baloney plays with Big Sister, who always makes him assume the minor role of kitty ("When do I get to be Boss of the World?" he asks). When he becomes exasperated with his siblings, Tony acts out, after which he and his stuffed toy, Dandelion (acting as confidante and adviser), take a time-out. Their eventual decision to apologize involves an entertaining imagined dialogue; Tony concedes that they have to apologize nicely, and Dandelion admits, "I am not feeling nicely in my heart." Dominated by bold primary colors, Fotheringham's (The Extraordinary Mark Twain [According to Susy]) hyperbolic digital illustrations counterbalance the slyly understated narrative, portraying Tony's (and Dandelion's) antics with humor. Yet there's brilliant subtlety, too: his depiction of Big Sister--always en pointe in her red ballet flats and eyeing Tony with no shortage of scorn--says a mouthful about what Tony is dealing with. Ages 3-5. (Jan.)