Creator: Rosemary Wells
"Animals can serve as a metaphor and they are easier to write about than human children. For example, with the Yoko series, it might not be considered politically correct for a non-Japanese writer to pen a story about a Japanese character. Since Yoko is a kitten, I can work around this"Rosemary Wells (1943 -) is a prolific creator of children's picture books and has also written for older audiences. Her two most popular franchises, which have also been adapted for television, are Max and Ruby and Timothy Goes to School. Some other popular titles by her include the Bunny Planet books, the Edward the Unready series (later rereleased as eBooks under the banner "Edward Almost Ready"), the McDuff series and Emily's First 100 Days of Kindergarten. Her nonfiction titles have included Help Children Cope with Divorce and Getting to Know You: Rodgers and Hammerstein Favorites. Some of her works titled at older audiences include Mary on Horseback and The Miraculous Tale of the Two Maries. In all, she has written well over 100 titles. Her most recent series are the Kindergators, about a group of young alligators, and the Sophie books, about a high-spirited two-year-old mouse.Her very first title, published in 1972, was Unfortunately Harriet. It is currently out of print. Her second title, published a year later, was the much more well-known Noisy Nora, which remains in print to this day, with Nora becoming one of the characters on the Timothy Goes to School television series.She is known for the Read to Your Bunny initiative, which, through the book by the same name, and through other media, encourages parents to read to their children for at least 20 minutes a day.She was also involved in the production of the Max & Ruby and Timothy television series. Her official website can be found here.
—Rosemary Wells, from a Japan Times Interview
Tropes often featured in Wells's works include:
- Art Evolution: Her art style for her bunny characters and animals from the 70's - late 90's looked different compared to her newer books.
- Compare her earlier◊ illustrations for Max and Ruby◊ to their later appearances.◊ The original 1979 cover for the first book "Max's First Word" had Max's overalls colored white.
- Yoko started looking more fluffy and fuzzy looking compared◊ to her earlier appearances.◊
- An Aesop: Though not always
- Animated Adaptation: Those that haven't been made into television series have often been adapted as read aloud storybooks for home video, sometimes with animation.
- Character Title: The 1998 book Yoko
- Cute Kitten: Yoko the main protagonist of the "Yoko" series
- Carnivore Confusion: The picture book First Tomato from the Bunny Planet series describes a group of bunny-people children being served bologna sandwiches, which greatly depresses the main character, as this is her least favorite lunch. Another character in the same series has to suffer through a dinner of cold liver chili.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The original 1979 version of "Max's First Word" had Max's overalls colored white and was only 6 pages long. The original 1979 book was very small compared to rest of the series. Which the exception of "Baby Max And Ruby" which also had small sized books.
- Every Episode Ending: Every installment of the Voyage to the Bunny Planet books ends with the star character observing the Bunny Planet in the night sky and marveling "It was there all along!"
- Fantastic Racism: Used in Yoko, in which the titular character, a Japanese kitten, is ostracized for eating sushi at lunch.
- Friend to All Children: Janet The Bunny Queen from "Voyage To The Bunny Planet"
- Funny Animal or Talking Animal
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal
- Invisible Parents: Especially in Max and Ruby
- Japanese Politeness: Yoko and her mother from the "Yoko" series.
- Mouse World: Often with rabbits
- Puppy Love: It's been implied◊ in her books starring Yoko or Timothy that they both have a crush on each other◊. Helps that they are both best friends.
- Rascally Rabbit
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Pleasantly averted in her Kindergators series, which actually features anthropomorphic alligators. Some of the children behave badly at times, but this only because they are young and still learning; none of them are actually truly mean or nasty.
- Reclusive Artist: She has a short biography page on her official website. Not that much is know about her history behind her writing and illustrating career and the origin behind Max and Ruby.
- Spin-Off Babies: She made a few books called "Baby Max And Ruby" which shows Ruby as a young child and Max as a young baby.
- Slice of Life
- Science Marches On: In the book "Emily's First 100 Days Of School" which has 100 pages which has events related to the number. Was the 8th page, where Emily and her the other students tell how many planets for the Solar System. Pluto is inculuded in it, this was made years before Pluto was no longer a planet.
- Very Special Episode: Her 1998 book "Yoko" dealt with racism.
- World of Funny Animals
- Sweet Dreams Fuel: All of her books are like this.