cover image Tony Baloney: School Rules

Tony Baloney: School Rules

Pam Muñoz Ryan, illus. by Edwin Fotheringham. Scholastic Press, $6.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-545-48166-3

Tony Baloney the penguin faces his first day of school in this early reader, and as in his eponymous 2010 picture book, he uses imagined conversations with his stuffed bird, Dandelion, to work out his feelings. “What if I get lost on the way to the bathroom? What if I don’t find a place to sit at lunchtime? What if I can’t follow the rules?” Dandelion asks Tony, who carefully assuages his fears: “Don’t worry, we can do it. I’ll be there if you need me.” Some first-day foibles necessitate a check-in with Dandelion: “And then Mrs. Gamboney had a little talk with me about the rules,” he tells the stuffed bird. “Oh, and I’m not Line Leader.” The frayed Dandelion replies, “Yeah. We sort of knew that might happen. Give it time, dude!” Ryan divides Tony’s day into four chapters, and Fotheringham’s blue, reds, and orange accents pop as Tony and Dandelion model a growing sense of independence and the ability to learn from mistakes. Ages 5–7. Author’s agent: Kendra Marcus, BookStop Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Pat Hackett, Artist Representative. (July)