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Cover image for Tony Baloney
Tony Baloney
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Press, c2011.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 26 cm.
Reading Level:
AD 660 L Lexile
Added Author:
Tony, a macaroni penguin, is a middle child with very exasperating siblings, and although he never looks for trouble, it often finds him.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book EASY RYA 1 1
Book EASY RYA 1 1
Book EASY RYA 1 1
Book EASY RYA 1 1
Book EASY RYA 1 1

On Order



Bestselling author Pam Muñoz Ryan and virtuosic new talent Edwin Fotheringham show off their funny sides as they introduce the mischievous, lovable, utterly relatable Tony Baloney!

Tony Baloney is a macaroni penguin. He loves fish tacos, Little Green Walrus Guys, his stuffed animal, Dandelion, and anything with wheels. He does not love trouble . . . but trouble loves him. Sometimes, when he is tired of Bossy Big Sister Baloney and exasperated with the Bothersome Babies Baloney, Dandelion behaves badly. And then, Tony must say he is sorry, which is not always easy for him.

Whether you are a mischievous middle, a bossy biggest, or a bothersome baby, you are sure to root for Tony Baloney and find yourself, or someone you love, in the Baloney family.

Author Notes

Author Pam Muñoz Ryan was born in Bakersfield, California on December 25, 1951. She received a B. A. in child development and a M. A. in education from San Diego State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a bilingual Head Start teacher and as an early childhood program administrator. At first, she wrote adult books about child development, but soon switched to writing children's books.

She has written over twenty-five picture books, novels, and nonfiction books for young readers. The novel Esperanza Rising, winner of the Pura Belpre Medal, the Jane Addams Peace Award, an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults, and the Americas Award Honor Book, is based on her own grandmother's immigration from Mexico to California. Riding Freedom has also won many awards including the national Willa Cather Award and the California Young Reader Medal. When Marian Sang, a picture book about singer Marian Anderson, won numerous awards including the ALA Sibert Honor and NCTE's Orbis Pictus Award. In 2015 her title Echo made The New York Times Best Seller List. She also won a Kirkus Prize in the children's literature category with her title 'Echo'.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

The trials and tribulations of middle children get zesty, energetic treatment in this story of a macaroni penguin chick (a breed distinguished by a yellow head crest) whose only ally at home is his favorite stuffed animal. Being a penguin does not excuse Tony Baloney from having to be a kitty: every time his bossy older sister forces him to play house, she also forces him to don fake ears and a tail and walk around saying "meow." Even this humiliation is preferable to spending time with his drooling twin sisters, a.k.a. "the Bothersome Babies Baloney." Expansive digital illustrations marked by cheery blocks of primary color chart Tony's endurance, which inevitably reaches a snapping point. Then Dandelion, his well-worn plush bird, "behaves badly," and the two friends retreat to Tony's hideout until able to "apologize...nicely." Readers will be happy when Big Sister Baloney finally gives Tony a break, even if, as any younger sibling knows, her benevolence can't last. christine m. heppermann (c) Copyright 2011. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

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.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-When Tony Baloney behaves badly, it's surely someone else's fault: the Bothersome Babies Baloney, bossy Big Sister Baloney, or his stuffed animal buddy, Dandelion. Suffering from a bad case of middle-child blues, the young penguin finds comfort in his hidey space and gets wise council from Dandelion. When he feels lonely and smells fish tacos, he decides to apologize for upsetting his siblings. In this rather whiny and loosely held together story, Tony doesn't even get his way in the end. Big Sister promises that he no longer has to be the kitty when they play together, so Tony passes that role to the twin babies, only to find that he must always play the dog. The last spread shows him sourly spilling milk at the tea party and fuming while wearing puppy ears. Older children may enjoy some of the humor, and younger children may respond to the bright, digital illustrations of the cartoon-style penguin family, but this is an additional purchase most useful for those seeking more stories about the woes of being stuck in the middle.-Julie R. Ranelli, Queen Anne's County Free Library, Stevensville, MD (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Stuck between Big Sister and the Bothersome Babies, Tony Baloney the macaroni (penguin, that is) can't help acting out sometimeswhich leads to a fast getaway into the cardboard hidey-space in his room "for maybe a year, or maybe twenty minutes" with his best stuffed buddy, Dandelion, followed by a parental admonition to apologize nicely. The tale is told in the present tense in a collegial, adult voice that leaves plenty of room for subtext: "Tony Baloney tells Dandelion all of his woes. As usual, Dandelion is extremely understanding." The versatile Fotheringham illustrates it with big cartoon scenes of stubby-beaked, shoe-wearing penguins in a comfy, cluttered domestic setting (the two binkie-sucking toddlers have particularly winning clueless looks). The episode will certainly evoke chords of recognition from middle children and their sibs (and parents) alike. So, "how long does it take for nicely to creep in?" Tony Baloney wonders; Dandelion (as superego) replies, "Maybe never, or in a little while. Just wait for it." Sage advice well worth offering, as closing scenes of realistically uneasy sibling dtente demonstrate. (Picture book. 5-8)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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