Walker, David 1965-

views updated May 18 2018

Walker, David 1965-


Born 1965. Education: Graduated from University of Kansas.


Office—David Walker Studios, 133 Graylyn Dr., Chapel Hill, NC 27516. E-mail—[email protected].


Artist and illustrator. Hallmark Cards, Kansas City, MO, former art director.


Ann Whitford Paul, Little Monkey Says Good Night, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2003.

Susan Meyers, Puppies! Puppies! Puppies!, Henry Abrams (New York, NY), 2005.

Susan Meyers, Kittens! Kittens! Kittens!, Henry Abrams (New York, NY), 2007.

Claire Masurel, Domino, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2007.

Ann Whitford Paul, If Animals Kissed Good Night, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2008.

Maribeth Boelts, Before You Were Mine, Putnam (New York, NY), 2008.

Andy Hilford and Susan Hilford, The Grandmother Book: A Book about You for Your Grandchild, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2008.

Susan Middleton Elya, No More, Por Favor, Putnam (New York, NY), 2009.

Kim Norman, Crocodaddy, Sterling Publishing (New York, NY), 2009.

Phyllis Root, Flip, Flap, Fly!: A Book for Babies Everywhere, Random House (New York, NY), 2009.


Artist David Walker has contributed the illustrations to a number of picture books for young children. For one project, he teamed with author Ann Whitford Paul on Little Monkey Says Good Night, a humorous picture book about an energetic monkey's misadventures at the circus. When Little Monkey learns that he has to go to bed, he bounds into the Big Top to say good night to each of the performers, leaving chaos in his wake. Walker "presents the mischievous monkey's escapades via soft-edged, slapstick illustrations," noted a contributor in Publishers Weekly, and Marianne Saccardi wrote in School Library Journal that the illustrator's "whimsical cartoon paintings are essential to the enjoyment of the brief text." Walker and Paul also collaborate on If Animals Kissed Good Night, "a charming bedtime book," in the words of School Library Journal contributor Jane Marino. The story shows a host of animals—including pythons, sloths, and walruses—prepar- ing for sleep. "Using soft color, Walker renders the nighttime rituals inventively," Abby Nolan wrote in her Booklist review of the work.

Walker also illustrated Puppies! Puppies! Puppies! and Kittens! Kittens! Kittens!, a pair of works by Susan Meyers that celebrates the enthusiasm of young animals. Reviewing the former in School Library Journal, Piper L. Nyman remarked that Walker's "delightful acrylic illustrations are warm and child friendly," and Ilene Cooper observed in Booklist that the pups have "a stuffed-animal look; kids will want to pick them up and give them a hug." In Kittens! Kittens! Kittens! Walker's soft-toned acrylic paintings give Meyers' text "a warm and fuzzy feeling," related Martha Simpson in School Library Journal.

A youngster adopts a shelter dog after his own pet dies in Before You Were Mine, a poignant story by Maribeth Boelts. Here Walker's "pastel illustrations use a variety of layouts to infuse the story with emotion," Kathleen Odean explained in Booklist. A Kirkus Reviews contributor also praised Boelts's narrative and Walker's illustrations, writing that they "combine to pack a small wallop directly to the hearts" of young readers.

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, April 1, 2005, Ilene Cooper, review of Puppies! Puppies! Puppies!, p. 1359; January 1, 2007, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Kittens! Kittens! Kittens!, p. 115; December 1, 2007, Kathleen Odean, review of Before You Were Mine, p. 47; June 1, 2008, Abby Nolan, review of If Animals Kissed Good Night, p. 88.

Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2007, review of Kittens! Kittens! Kittens!; September 1, 2007, review of Before You Were Mine.

Publishers Weekly, March 24, 2003, review of Little Monkey Says Good Night, p. 74; March 24, 2008, review of If Animals Kissed Good Night, p. 69.

School Library Journal, July, 2003, Marianne Saccardi, review of Little Monkey Says Good Night, p. 104; August, 2005, Piper L. Nyman, review of Puppies! Puppies! Puppies!, p. 103; March, 2007, Martha Simpson, review of Kittens! Kittens! Kittens!, p. 182; June, 2008, Jane Marino, review of If Animals Kissed Good Night, p. 113.


David Walker Home Page,http://www.davidwalkerstudios.com (January 20, 2009).

David Walker

views updated May 21 2018

David Walker

African American abolitionist David Walker (1785-1830) wrote Walker's Appeal, urging slaves to resort to violence when necessary to win their freedom.

David Walker was born free, of a free mother and slave father, in Wilmington, N.C., on Sept. 28, 1785. He early learned to read and write, and he read extensively on the subjects of revolution and resistance to oppression. When he was about 30, he left the South, because "If I remain in this bloody land, I will not live long. As true as God reigns, I will be avenged for the sorrows which my people have suffered." In 1826 Walker settled in Boston, Mass., where he became the agent for Freedom's Journal, the black abolitionist newspaper, and a leader in the Colored Association. For a living he ran a secondhand clothing store.

Walker published an antislavery article in September 1828; with three others, it became the pamphlet Walker's Appeal (1829). The articles were articulate and militant in their bitter denunciation of slavery, those who profited by it, and those who willingly accepted it. Walker called for vengeance against white men, but he also expressed the hope that their cruel behavior toward blacks would change, making vengeance unnecessary. His message to the slaves was direct: if liberty is not given you, rise in bloody rebellion.

Southern slave masters hated Walker and put a price on his head. In 1829, 50 unsolicited copies of Walker's Appeal were delivered to a black minister in Savannah, Ga. The frightened minister, understandably concerned for his welfare, informed the police. The police, in turn, informed the governor of Georgia. As a result, the state legislature met in secret session and passed a bill making the circulation of materials that might incite slaves to riot a capital offense. The legislature also offered a reward for Walker's capture, $10,000 alive and $1,000 dead.

Other Southern states took similar measures. Louisiana enacted a bill ordering expulsion of all freed slaves who had settled in the state after 1825. The slaveholding South was frightened by men like Walker, and their harsh reactions to the threat they saw in Walker's Appeal seemed justified when black slave Nat Turner led his bloody rebellion in 1831.

Most abolitionists disagreed with Walker's advice to the slaves to resort to violence to obtain freedom. White abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, who believed in immediate emancipation but thought it could be accomplished through persuasion and argument, did endorse the spirit of the Appeal, however, and ran large portions of it, together with a review, in his paper, the Liberator. On the other hand, Frederick Douglass accepted a more activist position, probably due to Walker's influence and that of Henry H. Garnet, who also called for massive slave rebellions.

Walker died in Boston on June 28, 1830, under mysterious circumstances. His challenge to the slaves to free themselves was an important contribution to the assault on human slavery.

Further Reading

Walker's Appeal is available in recent editions: Walker's Appeal, in Four Articles [by] David Walker; An Address to the Slaves of the United States of America [by] Henry Highland Garnet (1948; reprinted 1969 with an introduction by W. L. Katz and a brief sketch of Walker's life); David Walker's Appeal, edited by Charles M. Wiltse (1965); and One Continual Cry: David Walker's Appeal … Its Setting and Its Meaning, edited by Herbert Aptheker (1965). A brief biography of Walker appears in Historical Negro Biographies, edited by Wilhelmena S. Robinson (1968). Lerone Bennett, Jr., Pioneers in Protest (1968), contains a chapter on Walker. Walker figures in the surveys by John Hope Franklin, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of American Negroes (1947; 3d rev. ed. 1968), and Lerone Bennett, Jr., Before the Mayflower: A History of the Negro in America, 1619-1962 (1962; 4th ed. 1969). □