Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers
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Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers

Rosemary Wells
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Watch children’s author/illustrator Rosemary Wells create new art in her studio. You'll need the RealOne Player ( to see the four-minute video clip.
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Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers
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Rosemary Wells has a keen understanding of what matters to young children. The author and illustrator of more than sixty books, she has created unforgettable characters such as Max and Ruby, Noisy Nora, and Yoko. Her appealing stories capture the emotional charge of a child’s world.

In an exclusive interview, Ms. Wells talked about her work. "Children’s literature, if it is successful, must appeal to the heart of the child," she said from her studio. "Then that child will grab hold of it and say, ‘Ma! I want it again.’ This is the one form of literature that takes 500 readings aloud without flinching. And that’s a lot of use!"

Selected Books by Rosemary Wells

My Very First mother Goose

My Very First Mother Goose
The large format and lively illustrations make this collection of Mother Goose rhymes ideal to share with children of all ages.


The other kids in Yoko’s first-grade class make fun of her lunch until an astute teacher announces an international celebration of food.

Read to Your Bunny

Read to Your Bunny
An invitation for parents and children to read together, this book promises: Read to your bunny often, and your bunny will read to you.

Rosemary Wells grew up on the Jersey Shore in a family of artists. Her mother, a dancer in the Russian Ballet, and her father, a playwright and actor, "flooded me with books and stories," she remembered. Her artistic talent was apparent from an early age:

"When I was two years old, I began to draw and they saw right away the career that lay ahead of me and encouraged me every day of my life," she said.

"This is the one form of literature that takes 500 readings aloud without flinching. And that’s a lot of use!"

Most of the books she has created for children over the past thirty years feature drawings of animals. "I draw animals more easily and amusingly than I do children," she explained. "They also can do things in pictures that children cannot. They can be slapstick and still real, rough and still funny, maudlin and still touching."

Her light touch with stories means that children are not the only ones who laugh. She explained that as a writer and illustrator, she wants to "appeal enough to the sense of humor in the mother and father or teacher or older brother or grandmother who is reading so the child will feel the laughter and the enjoyment in the reader’s voice and want the book again and again and again."

Click here to read about another children's book author and illustrator, Norman Bridwell>>

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