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The Children's Bookshelf: Baloney and Friends 5-31

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This is the Children’s Bookshelf and I’m Sue Ann Martin

Baloney and Friends: Going Up!, a graphic novel written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli, is the second in his charming Baloney and Friends series. It is told in a delightful conversational style as Baloney the pig, Peanut the horse, Bizz the bumblebee and Krabbit the rabbit grow their friendship while discovering the world around them.

Baloney is composing a theme song for their little group when the book begins. He is the mover and shaker of the foursome. Peanut is not very sure of himself and Bizz gently goes along with the plans. Krabbit, however, thinks many of the group’s adventures are rather silly. He wants to read his book and be left alone.

There are three major stories in the book. “The Ladder” is particularly touching as Baloney discovers a piece of wood on the ground and asks Krabbit what it is. He tells him that it’s a ladder and it’s part of the junk that’s scattered about.  Baloney picks it up and hugs it. “Junk! This isn’t junk. This is AWESOME!” Baloney then begins to examine its properties with Peanut and Bizz---- they are impressed as Baloney climbs up the ladder, climbs down the ladder, walks around the ladder and goes underneath the ladder!  Then they decide to walk away with the ladder. Krabbit is relieved but not for long as the trio joyfully walks back with the ladder. “Oh man, I love this thing,” says Baloney as Krabbit looks up from his book in disgust.

The book is full of simple pleasures and much fun. The design of this graphic novel has each talking bubble drawn in the same color as the animal character who is speaking. The author includes a section that shows youngsters how to draw faces that capture such feelings as happy, sad, glad or mad and invites the reader to draw a comic!

Baloney and Friends: Going Up! written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli is a merry look at friendship for children 6-9 years of age. (Little, Brown and Company, 2021).

The Children’s Bookshelf is a production of WCMU. Links to the podcast and Activity Questions can be found at Children’s Bookshelf dot org.

Activity Questions for Baloney and Friends: Going Up!

How do the names of the characters (Baloney, Peanut, Bizz and Krabbit) identify what animal or insect they each are or what personality they have? If you were to gather four of your friends together to make your own group, who would they be? Why?

When Baloney finds a wooden ladder he explores how many ways he can relate to it through a number of prepositions including up, down, under, through and around. What items could you explore by using some of these same prepositions as well as others such as in, out and over. Think about it. For starters, apply this challenge to your bike, your house and a tree.

The author invites you to make your own comic by following his directions as to how to draw faces that are happy, sad, worried or mad. Have fun!

On page 13 you will find the words to the theme song which Baloney wrote. Play that you are Baloney and sing this theme song for all the world to hear. Make up a melody, open your mouth and SING!