Behind the Book: The Story of Max and Ruby

by Rosemary Wells

Rosemary Wells, author of the 2014 Read for the Record book, “Bunny Cakes”.

Hi! I’m Rosemary Wells, the author and illustrator of more than 130 children’s books, including this year’s Read for the Record book, Bunny Cakes, one of my all-time favorites. I published my first book back in 1968 and I have many books and characters of whom I am immensely proud of; Max and Ruby leading the list. There’s also Sophie, The Yoko books, Voyage to The Bunny Planet, My Very First Mother Goose, Mary on Horseback, Noisy Nora, and Read to Your Bunny, plus eight novels.

Max and Ruby are my own children, Victoria and Marguerite, born 40 years ago. When they were 5 years and 9 months old, Victoria decided to teach her sister how to talk, dress, and eat neatly. The results were hilarious conversations and the convoluted opposite of following directions. Invisible upstairs, I listened with a keen ear and produced four Max and Ruby board books verbatim!

Publishing has changed enormously over the years since I began with my first book back in the 1960s. It’s gone from being three color, librarian-centric to four and five color independent, bookstore fabulous to a more glitzy and commercial business. No matter its evolution, I still consider book publishing a bastion of civilized, inspired people and their lasting work.

Early education is the mother root of the book business. Without it, there would be no buyers of books or readers aloud. If we lose it, de-fund it, and diminish it, we will lose the critical mass of our thoughtful and educated population. We need to pull out all the stops to encourage parent involvement, to promote high-quality early education, and to inspire today’s youth.

My job is to write books for children to love and ask for again and again. In doing that I can create readers because only those kids who love books go on to become fruitful, enthusiastic readers. Thus fruitful and positive members of our society. I couldn’t be more delighted to partner with Jumpstart in their mission to work toward the day that every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. On October 21st, I hope you’ll join me and millions of others across the country to read Bunny Cakes for Jumpstart’s Read for the Record. You can help make history by joining me for my largest story time yet!

1 Comment

  • For years when our children were small we loved following Max and Ruby’s adventures which seem to somewhat reflect our experiences with an older daughter and younger son. We have enjoyed all their adventures but Max’s ABCs is my favorite and I give it to many new babies and their families to enjoy.

    We are about to embark on raising two new Springer Spaniels, one boy and one girl who will be ready to join us in late February. We haves named them Max and Ruby. Thank you for all the year’s you have entertained our family.

    Sarah Kreimborg January 23, 2019

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