Tri-Village News

UA author's Buckeyes book scores nomination


Upper Arlington resident Mark Walter will appear Monday, Nov. 12, at the Grandview Heights Public Library to discuss his book, Buckeyes A to Z.

Copies of the book, a nominee for the 2012 Buckeye Children's Book Award, will be available for purchase during Walter's program, which will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the library, 1685 W. First Ave.

"The book kind of works on a variety of levels," Walter said. "It has rhymes and facts about Ohio State (University) football to go with every letter in the alphabet.

"It is a children's book," he said. "It is designed to help younger children learn the alphabet while older children can enjoy reading and learning fun facts about the Buckeyes."

The subjects included in the book range from Script Ohio and Brutus Buckeye to linebackers such as Chris Spielman and A.J. Hawk and the national championships OSU has won.

On every page, Woody Hayes can be found hidden in the color illustrations, Walter said.

"It's a Where's Waldo-type of thing," he said.

The end of the book includes a number of Buckeyes-related games and activities for youngsters, Walter said.

A second-grade teacher in the Olentangy Local School District, Walter said he got the idea for the book while observing youngsters checking books out of the library about sports and Ohio State football.

"They'd often check out adult books about Ohio State football that they couldn't read yet, but I'd notice them looking intently at the pictures," he said.

Walter also has written Tigers A to Z, a similar book about LSU football.

"I have some other college teams I'm planning to do books about," he said. "I've always loved football and researching the teams is a lot of fun, especially OSU. Growing up in the Columbus area, I naturally become a Buckeye fan early in life."

The OSU book is one of five nominated for the Buckeye Children's Book Award in the K-2 category. The award, given annually since 1981, allows students to nominate and vote for their favorite books.

The winners in each age range category are determined by online voting, which continues through Saturday, Nov. 10. The winners will be announced Dec. 1.

For more information about the awards and the chance to vote, visit

Walter said he plans to read a portion of his Buckeyes book during his appearance at the Grandview library and talk about the process of writing a book and getting it published. He also will play some of the Buckeyes games included in the book.

For more information about Walter and his books, visit