Make Learning Fun

Rosemary Wells — one of our favorite author illustrators


This Mother Goose book was a baby gift from our neighbor, a children’s librarian. We’re already in love with it. Rosemary Wells is one of our favorite author illustrators, although I have to admit I wasn’t even aware she had done a Mother Goose book! What a pleasant surprise.


I like her playful interpretation of some of the traditional nursery rhymes.


Everyone seems to know Rosemary Wells’s Max and Ruby books, but it’s her Yoko books that I especially enjoy. Here’s Yoko, about a school child who is initially made fun of by her classmates for eating sushi.



In Yoko’s Paper Cranes, Yoko writes regularly to her grandparents in Japan and sends origami cranes as a birthday present.


Again, I love the playful, positive images!

Just so you know, Maia would choose the Max and Ruby books over the Yoko ones. Not that she doesn’t like Yoko, but Max is a mischief maker which tickles Maia’s fancy.


  • Reply
    Amy B.
    October 12, 2009 at 8:08 am

    I love Wells. Do you have “Felix Feels Better”? I adore it and want to dress like Felix’s mama. We’ll have to check the Yoko books out from the library! I’ve been thinking about trying some vegetarian sushi rolls.

  • Reply
    October 12, 2009 at 10:05 am

    We have Little Boy Blue, by Rosemary Wells. Its in the Very first Mother Goose series. I love the nursery rhymes that I’ve never heard before! Its a favorite around here!

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    October 12, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Nope. Don’t have it, but I’ll look for it at the library. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Reply
    Julie Liddle
    October 12, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    I, too, love the Yoko books, especially because my kids are in a Japanese Immersion program at school…Yoko and the Paper Cranes is one of my faves. Of the Max and Ruby books, you have to check out the one where Max and Ruby bake a cake for grandma. It’s hilarious and since you do so much baking together it should strike a chord with you and Maia. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    I grew up on the cutest little Max Ruby board books… back when board books were just coming into fashion :) “Max’s New Suit” is my kids’ favorite and is absolutely hilarious. Thankfully they reprinted them… the version I have is showing up for $108 on Amazon. UNfortunately, she redid the illustrations… the old Max was super.
    I heard Wells speak at the children’s literature conference at Penn State in 2000 and she calls Mother Goose “the Shakespeare of children’s literature.” She makes me smile, as does good ol’ Max (or Mack, as my 2yo calls him!)
    Thanks for letting me jabber about a favorite author/illustrator…I’m glad others enjoy her, too!

  • Reply
    Meg Grant
    October 12, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Yoko is a favorite around here as well…love her stories so very much. Will have to look for the Mother Goose at the library this week. Thanks so much.

  • Reply
    October 12, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    This is one of the first books I bought when I was expecting M. We all love it. It helped us with potty-training like nothing else. I know, weird recommendation for a book, but it’s true!! :)

  • Reply
    October 13, 2009 at 11:35 am

    We bought the whole set for our son (11 years ago!). They were his first books and we still love them. They’ve been the first books we read to all our children ever since.

  • Reply
    October 13, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    We love “Good Night, Fred,” by R. Wells. Fred bounces on the couch, tumbles off and breaks the phone. But he just spoke to Grandma on the phone and he’s sure she’s still in there! He dreams that Grandma comes out of the phone for a visit (she’s about 2 inches tall!) and they have fun together. This is one of my own childhood storybooks that I loved!

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    October 13, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Yes, we’ve read that (and watched the DVD version)! It is hilarious!

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    October 13, 2009 at 11:41 am

    I’ll have to look for that one!

  • Reply
    October 13, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    I can’t believe no one’s mentioned her Bunny Planet series. Those little books are absolutely the best! For those who are not familiar with them, each little bunny has a rotten day but then they receive a visit from the Queen of the Bunny Planet who shows them the “day that should have been”. So beautiful and touching and sweet.

  • Reply
    ashley b. chandler
    October 16, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    We are big Rosemary Wells fans. My daughter is crazy about Max and Ruby. But, Yoko is new to us. After reading this post I looked for Yoko books at a local library and was very pleased to find “Yoko Writes Her Name”. It is so very sweet. We’ll continue our quest for Yoko books. Thanks for this post!

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