Reviews of Rick Walton’s Books

22 Jun

How Many How Many How Many

“This cleverly crafted, exuberantly illustrated counting book makes learning about numbers a joy.”

The Web Online Review

 “Children will eagerly approach learning the fundamental number concepts suggested in How Many How Many How Many.”

The Boston Globe

 “Energetic verses and action-packed pictures encourage kids to learn other facts about the months of the year, seasons, the planets and favorite nursery characters.”

The Boston Globe

 “This is one of those nifty books that works for a variety of reasons.”

Long Beach Press-Telegram

 “The book would be ideal for preschoolers, but second-grade class I read it to jumped and shouted when they knew the answers.”

Long Beach Press-Telegram

 “A multicultural troupe of 12 energetic children romp through the pages of this counting book.”

Wichita Eagle

 “The nymphlike children and animals cavort in terrific watercolor paintings that have a rhythm of their own.”

Deseret News

 “This is a sure-fire winner for children age 2 and up.”

Deseret News

 “A clever mixing of numbers and nursery rhymes through questions…”

The Sacramento Bee

 “A combination of riddles, nursery rhymes, and Trivial Pursuit gives this nifty counting book its special twist…exuberant artwork is bound to welcome budding mathematicians to these pages.”

Publishers Weekly

 “Here’s the perfect introduction to the world of arithmetic, a cheerful counting book that covers the basics in verse….Colorful scratchboard illustrations and the lively rhyme make this math fun.”

–Lynne T. Burke in the Onese Valley Parent Magazine, Sept. 1996

 Noah’s Square Dance

“evokes all the spirit of a barnyard hoedown…inventive rhymes…the final, joyful verse celebrates the end of the storm, but readers will believe that everyone had a good time waiting it out.”


 “A spirited lark aboard the Ark…a do-si-do-ing good time…the illustrations are so spirited that you’ll feel like picking a partner and forming a square dance yourself.”

The Cincinnati Herald

 “bouncy text…exuberant rhythm”

School Library Journal

 “rollicking rhymed text..toe-tapping hoedown”

Wichita Eagle

 “The verse is simply fun and the bright full-paged illustrations are happy and fun-filled.”

The Open Book, Fall ’95

 “The rain pours down while Noah, the crew and animals enjoy a western style hoedown. Illustrations place the animals in square dance poses that bring on the laughs. What else can you do when a bewildered billy goat allemandes with an imperious turkey. Background square dance music makes this a swinging rhythmical revel.”

Tips & Titles of Books

 “Anyone who thinks that the passengers on Noah’s ark just sat around waiting for the rain to stop could be tapping their toes at Noah’s Square Danceinstead. Author Rick Walton begins the call with a “do-si-do” and an “allemande left” as humans and animals circle, twirl and promenade. Colorful and lively illustrations show the dancers parading and prancing around the close quarters. This is a silly little interlude that can be read and enjoyed vicariously, or actually used as a sample square dance call to get listeners out of their chairs and stomping to the book beat. Recommended.”

Library Talk, Worthington, Ohio, Apr 1996

 “Just right for storytelling…”

–Marilou Sorensen, Deseret News, Nov. 14, 1995

 “lively picture book interpretation of how Noah and the gang might have passed those 40 nights on the ark….toe-tapping rhythm of the text mimics a square dance caller’s chant, with vibrant illustrations”

–Myla Barnhardt, Greensboro NC News & Record, Mar 3, 1996

 “Young children who know the story of Noah will enjoy the animals’ antics as this book is read to them.”

–Sandee Brawarsky, Jewish Week, Jan 19, 1996

 “The rhythm promenades through the book, setting an upbeat tone and a lively pace for reading aloud….think of this book as a child pleaser, a plucky tugboat among the elegant, three-masted schooners. As picture-book versions of Noah’s ark go, it’s a hoot.”


 What to do When a Bug Climbs in Your Mouth

“a hilarious book for young readers.”

Simi Valley Star, Jul. 6, 1995, also Oshkosh Northwestern

 “poems to drive you buggy and delight youngsters”

World News Features

 “a laugh-out-loud collection by Rick Walton, with wacky illustrations by Nancy Carlson.”

The Scoop, Spring 95

 “A delightful selection of bug poems. Walton has skillfully blended factual information, creative use of language, and a sharp sense of humor to create a book on a popular topic. Carlson’s humorous and colorful illustrations, done with marker on watercolor paper, vividly enhance the poems. Anthony, age 8, commented, ‘The poems give good information about insects in a fun way.'”

Children’s Books, p. 155.

 Once There was a Bull…frog

“clever design…amusing tale….In addition to the obvious tie with lessons on compound words, this could be used to inspire students to do some creative writing of their own.”


 “Really fun…a real surprise for children…they get to know it and they can’t wait to read it aloud to you.”

–Valerie Lewis of Lewis Reviews, on CBS This Morning, December 14, 1995

 “the story takes the reader into every nook and cranny that compound words can offer. A real page-turner.”

–Janet Hatch in The Salt Lake Tribune, August 23, 1996

 You Don’t Always Get What You Hope For

“Sooner or later, everyone learns that you don’t always get what you hope for, but even children slow to that realization will get a healthy dose of humor with Walton’s new book.”

–Nancy Hobbs in The Salt Lake Tribune, August, 1996

 “Sparks with fun, imagination, adventure…a lively tale that will no doubt entertain children who want to see what happens next. Walton…shows he’s adept at sparking the imagination with this fanciful tale….a great ending liking the parent and child.”

–Ann B. Niendorf in The Daily Herald, September 2, 1996.

 “The pictures have many absurd details that extend the humor in the narrative. Most children will appreciate this funny fantasy.”

–Anne Parker, in School Library Journal, Nov. 1996

 “A winning, high-spirited romp.”

The Kids’ Inkslinger

 “Rick Walton makes it appear effortless in this whimsical book for everyone….Walton has written a splendid antidote for anyone who thinks all experiences in life can be controlled. His plot development is as unexpected as the events he tells of. Your only valid expectation of this book is that you will experience laughter and loss of anxiety if you read it.”

The Association for Mormon Letters

 “A delightfully silly book about a boy to whom anything can happen and it all does. Great illustrations.”

Childsplay, May/June 1997

  Hoop-La, Off Base, and Take a Hike

“Demand for riddles with sports themes is always high, and these three small-size books will go a long way toward satisfying it. Basketball, baseball and football all get their due with jokes that are actually funny, especially for those who are savvy about the game.”


 “Silly series, providing hours of fun…While laughing kids will be learning finer points of the games, as well as language tricks like puns and homophones.”

South Florida Parenting

 “Whatever sport you choose in this series, it’s sure to be a hit!”

The Mecklenburg Gazette

 Take a Hike

“This riddle book will be popular…the riddles ARE funny.”



“Speaking of laughs, Rick Walton has given us a ponderous amount in his new picture and joke books.”

–Marilou Sorenson in Deseret News

 Pig Pigger Piggest

“…good-humored rewriting of “The Three Little Pigs”…definitely a funny book.”

Publisher’s Weekly, 7/14/97

 “…a charming and zany version of the familiar story….In the end, everyone is a winner.”

Children’s Book Review Service, Inc., 12/97, Vol. 26 No. 4

 “…you’ll catch on, and so will kids, as this fractured “Three Little Pigs” bounces to its happily weded conclusion….Accompanying Walton’s tilted text are Holder’s appropriately tipsy watercolors, in which the architecturally inclined little porkers bounce their jolly, if muddy, way through a backdrop of silly images and snortingly funny characterizations.”

The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

 “Relying on a wordplay of superlatives and snatches of at least three traditional tales, Walton creates a whacked-out, fractured fairytale that will bring smiles to young and old. Holder’s illustrations emphasize the superlative theme. A good choice for reading aloud. As with other fractured fairy tales, such as The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf (Scieszka) and The Paper Bag Princess(Munsch), this picture book could also be used effecstively with older children as a springboard for a creative writing exercise.”

–Marsha Broadway, Children’s Book and Play Review, Volume 18, Number 4, March/April 1998.

 “Talk about humor. Not only is this new version (of the Three Little Pigs story) a chuckler, but the pigs look like overweight grandpas who’ve forgotten to put in their teeth, and there’s a forever grazing horse munching away by each of the castles that seems to grow kinnier with every bite. This is a book parents will enjoy reading and children will love hearing again and again.”

–Tricia Gardella, The Union Democrat, Sonora, CA, 8/21/98.

 So Many Bunnies

“…children will enjoy guessing where each rabbits sleep….Comforting and cozy, this attractive title is a good choice for pajama storytimes.”

–Dawn Amsberry, Oakland Public Library, in School Library Journal, March 1998.

 “What better time than the Spring to discover a new child’s book about charming little creatures that has the added advantage of helping children to learn their numbers and to learn to read? Such a double bedtime reading adventure may be found in the delightful children’s book, So Many Bunnies: A Bedtime ABC and Counting Book….At $16, the book is an investment as well as part of your children’s heritage of reading.”

–D.D.M. in New York’s Entertainment Magazine, April 1998, p. 62.

 “What better way to portray the diversity of letters and the multiplicity of numbers than with a family of 26 rabbits who live in this modern rendering of a familiar nursery rhyme.”

–Nicholas A. Basbanes, The Orlando Sentinel 4/19/98, San Antonio Express News, 4/12/98.

 “Nursery traditionalists will melt with delight over this lovely bedtime BAC and counting book, wonderfully full of rabbits and sparkling with imagination. Here is a whole alphabet of adorable baby bunnies, a full 26 of them, from Abel to Zed, each of whom has his or her own favorite sleeping spot–after all, their plump, sweet mother lives in a shoe and it’s a bit crowded….Perfect for counting, learning letters and generally having fun, So Many Bunniesis in the long-loved bedtime story style.”

–Barbara Hodge Hall, The Anniston Star, 2/22/98.

 “Mother Rabbit tucks in a whole alphabet of baby bunnies from Abel through Zed. Following through her rambling house and garden is a gentle adventure for the youngest on your list. Rick Walton’s rhyming text and the beautiful watercolor paintings by Paige Miglio will make this a favorite ABC and counting book.”

–Betsy Daley, New Haven Republican-American, 4/12/98.

 “Not only is this a clever counting and ABC book, it’s a joyous celebration of family…and spring.”

–Tricia Gardella, The Sonora Union Democrat, 4/3/98.

 “A sweet rendering of the nursery rhyme about the old woman who lived in a shoe.”

–Natalie Soto, Denver Camera, 3/22/98.

 “It’s all delightful, with ravishing pictures of the darling bunnies curling up in their various bunks.”

–Ann Waldron, Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/12/98

 “This book came out just this spring and immediately hopped to the top of our list of favorite books for kids one and up….Toddlers will do the chant with you after a reading or two, and kids as old as seven will enjoy the top-hat/flowered dress-type drawings, with rabbits flopping everywhere.”

–Rose Kennedy, BabyCenter,

 “The alphabet, counting and rhyming are featured in this captivating ABC book. Pen and ink over watercolors provide rich, charming illustrations. Children will ask repeatedly for this read-to-me book.”

Dallas Child, June 1998.

 “A winning introduction to the alphabet and the numbers 1 through 26, this book also has the advantage of its sleepytime setting. Your little one will cuddle up under the covers with a head full of numbers and letters.”

–Sue Corbett, Miami Herald, 6/25/98.

Dance, Pioneer, Dance

“…whimsical poem about dancing and fun on the pioneer trail. In lyrical verse, author Rick Walton tells a story to delight both children and adults. With its catchy rhythms and unusual rhymes, it is especially fun to read aloud. Entertaining, imaginative, Dance, Pioneer, Dance! gives children a new insight into pioneer travels… Dance, Pioneer, Dance!is fun, informative, and a truly charming picturebook.”

The Midwest Book Review, December 1997.

 “…has captured the lilt and rhythm of the events after traveling on the long journey West. Brad Teare’s exuberant pictures illustrate a homespun quality of the era.”

–Marilou Sorensen, Deseret News, 4/7/98.

 “(Rick) writes in a loose rhyming pattern that lends itself to reading aloud. An exuberant crowd of kids–is there any other kind?–could have a blast re-enacting the jigs, promenades and heel-and-toe dances Walton describes.”

–Lucinda Doolittle, Idaho Statesman, 3/22/98

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