Baloney and Friends: Going Up!

Little, Brown. (Baloney & Friends: Bk. 2). May 2021. 96p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780759554801.
Gr 1-3–Baloney and his friends are back in their second graphic novel. The differing personalities of the ensemble provide much of the humor, such as when Baloney writes a theme song for the group. Cheerful Peanut (a horse) and Bizz (a bee) are excited about their inclusion in the song, but Krabbit isn’t quite so sanguine—“Choose your next words very carefully,” he warns when Baloney tries to describe the crabby rabbit. When Baloney holds a yard sale, Bizz patiently explains that he is vastly overpricing items. On a camping trip, Peanut naively tries to find Baloney’s missing sneeze, and then all the friends abandon the tent as Baloney passes gas. The situations are ordinary—going on a camping trip, coping with a bug bite, admiring a tree—but the characters bring the events to life with their unique responses and hilarious interactions. Pizzoli’s simple yet exuberant cartoons are charming. Color-coded speech bubbles match the characters to their words and ease picture book readers into the format of comic panels. And for those who wish to create their own stories, there are directions on how to draw each of the characters.
VERDICT A delightful read for early chapter book readers.

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