Books by David Walker

IF ANIMALS WENT TO SCHOOL by Ann Whitford Paul
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 14, 2019

"Lacking the perfect pairings of animal and behavior, this one just doesn't stand out. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Paul and Walker continue their If Animals series with this look at animals attending school. Read full book review >
PEEP AND DUCKY IT'S SNOWING! by David Martin
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 1, 2019

"Young children in wintry climes will certainly see their own snow-day play reflected here; the only thing missing is the putting-on-the-snowsuit struggle. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Two friends enjoy a realistic day of play in the snow, complete with sledding, an argument, reconciliation, and treats. Read full book review >
IF ANIMALS CELEBRATED CHRISTMAS by Ann Whitford Paul
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 11, 2018

"A sweet, cozy book to share with young children as Christmas approaches. (Picture book. 2-6)"
Over a dozen types of animal families show how they would celebrate this holiday season. Read full book review >
BEARS AND BLOSSOMS by Shirley Parenteau
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 13, 2018

"Another season, another warming tale of bear friendship and fun. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Five bears enjoy a day of picnicking and playing together under the blossoming trees in this latest in Parenteau's Bears on Chairs series. Read full book review >
IF ANIMALS SAID I LOVE YOU by Ann Whitford Paul
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 17, 2017

"Surely adult and child pairs reading this together will find ways to mimic the animals' ways of expressing their love: blowing bubbles and splashing in the tub, a boa-like 'squish-hugging squeeze,' and playful wrestling. (Picture book. 2-6)"
Paul and Walker team up again to present the youngest listeners with an "I love you" book. Read full book review >
BEARS IN THE SNOW by Shirley Parenteau
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"Adults: get ready for your children to ask you to lie facedown in the snow at the top of a hill. (Picture book. 2-5)"
The same four bears who puzzled out an issue with chairs (Bears on Chairs, 2009, etc.) again face the problem of where to fit four bear bottoms. Read full book review >
IF NOT FOR YOU by Bob Dylan
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 12, 2016

"Song lyrics don't always make great children's books, and that's the case here, but the pictures are so poignant that parents could make up their own words and turn this into something greater than it is. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Walker illustrates the 1970 Dylan tune with an adorable parent-child canine pair. Read full book review >
FIRST GRADE, HERE I COME! by Tony Johnston
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 30, 2015

"Skip. (Picture book. 4-6)"
A redheaded boy imagines the fun he will have in first grade if he just has five friends to share it with. Read full book review >
BEARS AND A BIRTHDAY by Shirley Parenteau
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"Preschoolers will enjoy this very festive celebration. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Get ready for a very special party! Read full book review >
PEEP AND DUCKY RAINY DAY by David Martin
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"Totally in tune with toddlers, this snappy read-aloud gets it right. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Rainy days are oh, so dreary, but not for Peep and Ducky. Read full book review >
TIME FOR A BATH by Phillis Gershator
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 7, 2014

"Will the book convince a child that bathtime is a happy time? It won't take many reads to get them to want to try and find out. (Picture book. 2-4)"
Gershator and Walker's bunnies from Time for a Hug (co-authored by Mim Green, 2013) return to explore the seasons and reasons for bathtime. Read full book review >
THE NIGHT PARADE by Lily Roscoe
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 26, 2014

"A fine addition to the bedtime story shelf—it practically croons itself. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Nighttime can't just be for sleeping; what do toddlers really do at night? Read full book review >
BEARS IN THE BATH by Shirley Parenteau
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 8, 2014

"Splish! Splash! Everyone will look forward to a bath. (Picture book. 2-5)"
These bears, returning in the third book in the series having conquered chairs and beds (Bears in Chairs, 2009; Bears in Beds, 2012), are in need of a bath. Read full book review >
TINY RABBIT'S BIG WISH by Margarita Engle
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 4, 2014

"Tiny Rabbit should be introduced to David Kirk's Oh So Tiny Bunny (2013), which also successfully explores the same theme. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Like lots of children and lots of picture-book characters, tiny rabbit wants to be big. Very big. Read full book review >
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! by Jamie A. Swenson
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 28, 2013

"A good but not great good-night picture book. (Picture book. 2-6)"
A nighttime thunderstorm results in a crowded bed when a little boy welcomes his pets to snuggle up with him and his teddy bear in this cumulative, rhyming story that is reminiscent of TheNapping House but falters a bit in its pacing. Read full book review >
NIGHTY-NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT by Jennifer Berne
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 9, 2013

"This gentle bedtime book is sweet enough, but it doesn't exactly break new ground. (Picture book. 2-5)"
A young tot in mauve footed pajamas tucks into bed with a good book. So begins this off-to-bed journey that provides glimpses of sleepy animals around the world. Read full book review >
PEEP AND DUCKY by David Martin
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 12, 2013

"As soft and refreshing as a cool glass of lemonade, and twice as sweet. (Picture book. 2-6)"
A new easy-to-read friendship tale is sure to resonate with "lucky, lucky, lucky" preschoolers everywhere. Read full book review >
BEARS IN BEDS by Shirley Parenteau
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 14, 2012

"Little bears who are afraid of storms or who have trouble sleeping will want to cuddle up with these five friends. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Bouncy rhyming couplets tell the story of five bears and their bedtime routine. Read full book review >
TIME FOR A HUG by Phillis Gershator
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 1, 2012

"Worth a pause and may well inspire a hug or two. (Picture book. 2-4)"
Gershator (Moo, Moo, Brown Cow, Have You Any Milk, 2011), in collaboration with her mother, offers this sweet, brief rhyming tale celebrating hugs at any hour of the day. Read full book review >
BABY, COME AWAY by Victoria Adler
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 8, 2011

"Sweet but not stellar—stick with Adler's earlier success, All of Baby, Nose to Toes, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata (2009). (Picture book. 2-4)"
A bird, cat, dog and fish take turns inviting Baby (who looks more like a toddler) to "come away." Read full book review >
BABY SAYS "MOO!" by JoAnn Early Macken
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2011

Macken carefully structures a seemingly simple picture book about a baby learning animal sounds—or in this case stuck on the popular bovine one—using simple rhyming text, a progressive repetition of previously encountered creatures and the harmonious refrain of, "Baby says, "Moo!" Walker complements the story with muted bright hues portraying the sunny dispositions of baby and parents as they journey to various settings from urban store to rural farm. In the mostly blue text (set in a type that looks like hand printing), animal sounds are printed in contrasting purple and coupled with a miniature picture of the sound's owner. "A cat says moo? / I can't see how. / Everybody knows that / a cat says meow. / A bird says tweet, / and people say hello. / A cow says moo, / everywhere you go" these simple lines are accompanied by tiny thumbnails of cat, gray-haired woman, bird and cow. In less-deft hands this could be an annoying distraction, but here it only enhances the reading experience for young ones. A lady, bird, cat, horse and dog are included in this gentle romp, which concludes with a finale meeting—"Wake up, Baby! Here's a cow for you!" Sure to satisfy young toddlers with one-on-one reading and entertain preschoolers in an interactive storytime. (Picture book. 1-3)Read full book review >
YOUR MOMMY WAS JUST LIKE YOU by Kelly Bennett
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2011

This slight story opens with a grandmother, her daughter and her granddaughter gathered around a family photo album, in a book that replicates the formula used in Your Daddy Was Just Like You (2010). The grandmother begins to remember all the ways her daughter and granddaughter are alike: "Your mommy was born bright-eyed and fuzzy-topped. Just like you." Bennett's comforting refrain, along with the measured text, creates a soothing rhythm that pairs nicely with Walker's muted acrylics. Certain vignettes wonderfully capture less-endearing moments of childhood, such as when the grandmother remembers her daughter's tantrums, when she "pestered and poked, stomped and spit… / On those days she was sent to TIME OUT." However, the nostalgic tone is occasionally burdened by overly cute language: "Most days your mommy was my sweet potato—doll face—poopsie…" As in the companion title for fathers, Walker misses the opportunity to draw a visual connection between the little girl and her mother, who grandmother says was so much like her—a shame. Even though most young children enjoy hearing what their parents were like when they were little, there is not much here to excite the preschool set. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
NO MORE, POR FAVOR by Susan Middleton Elya
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2010

Finicky eaters abound in this rainforest/selva, in which several bilingual baby animals refuse their normal foods. Bananas are funky for one small Monkey, pomegranate seeds too messy for Baby Toucan, mango too sweet for a young Iguana and the same flower petal over and over is "so lame!" according to Little Butterfly. Elya's signature blended Spanish-with-English couplets highlight a series of dietary complaints summed up best by a tiny hummingbird tired of eating nectar. " ‘Flowers—no más!' He flits there en frente. / ‘Hummingbird kids need food diferente!' " Variety proves a spicy solution when one creative mama macaw surprises everyone with a midweek-playgroup fruit ensalada that offers deliciously new choices for all to share. Walker's acrylic paintings in rich, primary rainforest colors add appeal to the bouncy, sometimes uneven rhyme. Kids with picky palates will appreciate the message and discover new tasty options while training their tongues with morsels of Spanish. An illustrated glossary and pronunciation guide completes the fare. (Picture book. 5-8) Read full book review >
YOUR DADDY WAS JUST LIKE YOU by Kelly Bennett
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2010

A grandmother regales her grandson with an account of his father's infant- and childhood, including achievements and frailties and always touching base with the refrain, "Just like you." The strength of Bennett's text is in its honest and loving confrontation of not-so-adorable aspects of childhood: "Most days your daddy was my sweet boy. But some days he turned into a wild thing. He raised a ruckus. He crashed. He teased or bossed or bashed." That aside, there's little to surprise readers. Where this book truly misses its potential is in Walker's soft-focus acrylics, which simply depict what the grandmother describes of her son's childhood and fail to mirror the text's "Just like you," never making the visual connection between the child-father and his son. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
BEARS ON CHAIRS by Shirley Parenteau
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2009

"Four small chairs / just right for bears. / Where is the bear / for each small chair?" One by one, Calico, Fuzzy, Yellow and Floppy Bears take their seats, but what to do when Big Brown Bear shows up and there's no chair? Parenteau's rhythm and rhyme never falter as the bears experiment with different seating configurations that might accommodate all five bear bottoms. Walker positions his soft-edged, pastel-colored bears (and their chairs) against a clean white background, their overlarge heads and comforting smiles immediately in tune with toddlers' aesthetics. While his bears are not highly developed characters, slight differences in color and texture—and Floppy Bear, in particular, is pleasingly spineless—will help small children track the characters' movements. While the bears' solution is hardly rocket science, their cooperative approach will appear revolutionary to the book's target audience. Between the unerringly positive approach to a common early-childhood dilemma and the can't-miss rhyme, this volume will likely find its place on many a daycare shelf. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
CROCODADDY by Kim Norman
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2009

A little boy and his father indulge in some splashy imaginative play. A rhyming text details the swimming-trunks- and baseball-cap-clad tot's interior monologue as he hunts for, taunts and tames his "Crocodaddy:" "Crocodaddy, Crocodaddy, whatcha gonna do? / Crocodaddy hunter is RIDING on you!" Walker's bright acrylics take all possible menace out of the foolery, dressing his croc in Dad's yellow trunks and bestowing on him just two tiny paint smears for teeth. The good humor in the proceedings is evident in every spread, and it's a game many children will be well familiar with. But Norman's scansion sputters at points, and it doesn't provide quite enough for the illustrations to scaffold on. Even at 32 pages, it's still a spread or two too long to maintain interest. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
FLIP, FLAP, FLY! by Phyllis Root
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2009

An adorable assortment of baby animals flap, wiggle and splash their way through the forest, spotting each other in turn as they play with their mamas. Human babies and toddlers will love guessing which animal comes next as they follow clues from Root's contagious, rhyming text and Walker's bright and warm acrylic illustrations. Onomatopoeic verbs—"flip flap fly," "splish splash swim"—array themselves in playful swaths descending down the page, leading readers' eyes through the choreographed page turns, which piggyback on the rhyme scheme to prompt readers and listeners in the identification game. The cleverness of the design combines with the animals' toddler-friendly round shapes and smiles to provide a developmentally appropriate visual accompaniment to the well-paced text. This story begs to be enjoyed over and over again by both babies and their grown-ups, who will find themselves chanting it rather than reading it by the second time through. Despite its slightly smaller-than-average size, the large animals in uncluttered compositions will make this a hit for group as well as individual sharing. (Picture book. 1-5)Read full book review >
IF ANIMALS KISSED GOOD NIGHT by Ann Whitford Paul
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 9, 2008

Paul's latest bedtime book proves satisfyingly soporific. In gentle rhymes, she imagines how the real versions of a bedroom menagerie might kiss goodnight: "Peacock and chick / would spin a fan dance / and kiss with a kickity / high-stepping prance." Python kisses involve twisting around, while seal kisses are underwater affairs with much bubble accompaniment. Sloth and her cub make several appearances, as their slow goodnight kiss lasts longer than anyone else's. While a family triad appears only once, both moms and dads dole out the smooches. Throughout, readers are introduced to the terms for animal babies and to the distinctive physical features that are the hallmark of each creature. Walker's adorable, soft-hued animals populate simply drawn habitats with the bare minimum of detail—perfect for capturing the attention of the littlest listeners. The imaginative possibilities alone make this one stand out from the glut of sickly sweet bedtime books. Sure to send readers off to a gentle goodnight . . . after a kiss, of course. (Picture book. 2-6)Read full book review >
BEFORE YOU WERE MINE by Maribeth Boelts
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

"Before you were mine . . . " wonders a little boy, "[d]id you live in a warm house with warm smells and a rug that was only yours? [Or were] you kept on a chain, with a dusty bowl and lonely sounds all around?" Never varying from this direct address, the little boy speculates about the life his dog may have led before being adopted from the shelter. He imagines happiness, cruelty, misfortune, neglect: "[Maybe] you ran away and they never heard that if your dog runs away, you look for him . . . until you find him." Softly framed pastel panels and vignettes depict a round, mustard-colored little mutt playing with an imagined boy, making puppy-mischief, alone and scared, before being taken to the shelter for "a meal, and a bath, and a bed of your own" before coming home with the narrator. Boelts's restrained text and Walker's affecting illustrations combine to pack a small wallop directly to the hearts of dog-loving children who will almost certainly give their pets an extra hug afterwards. A note on adopting a shelter pet follows this unabashedly emotional offering. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
KITTENS! KITTENS! KITTENS! by Susan Meyers
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2007

Felines frolic in verse and pictures. A surfeit of kittens in playful poses fills the first two pages, between snippets of poetry about their antics, and both the pets and the poetry continue to play through subsequent pages. Flower pots, yarn, a friendly dog, the roof, each other—nothing and no one is safe from their antics: "Chasing toys that skip and skitter, trying out their kitty litter." Eventually, they grow into calmer cats that protect the home from rodents and snuggle with their owner. Walker's soft-focus acrylics perfectly capture the warmth and gentleness of kittens, and cover the entire feline repertoire. Meyers's verse is similarly light and bouncy. Additionally, an abundance of white space in the design adds comforting calm. A sequel to the authors' Puppies! Puppies! Puppies! (2005) that's sure to delight. (Picture book. 2-6)Read full book review >
LITTLE MONKEY SAYS GOODNIGHT by Ann Whitford Paul
ANIMALS
Released: April 7, 2003

Called to bed, Little Monkey won't go until he says good night. "He scampers to the Big Top tent. ‘Come back,' calls Papa. / But Little Monkey jumps / BOING! / into the Ringmaster's spotlight. ‘Good night, Ringmaster.' Ringmaster tips his tall top hat and sweeps Little Monkey / SWISH! / through the Poodle's hoop. / ‘Good night, Poodle.' " One onomatopoetic leap follows another as Little Monkey bids good night to each performer. His rounds end in a swish with Mama on the trapeze followed by the excited clapping and cheering of the crowd. Finally, Papa tucks Little Monkey in with a good night of his very own. Paul (Silly Sadie, Silly Samuel, 2000, etc.) inspired by her own son's need to wish everyone in the house good night, has written one of the noisiest bedtime stories ever. Debut children's book illustrator Walker's pudgy, smiling, energetic characters are rendered in soft yet bright pastel colors. Together they have created a perfect good-night read. The only drawback is that when listeners reach the end, they'll ask to start again. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >