“In the pages of the book you will find a tiny vacation of privacy and intense love.”
~ Rosemary Wells
One of the pleasures of being a parent that sneaks up on us in the most delightful way is not only sharing favorite books and authors with our children, but also discovering new voices and stories we otherwise may have never found.
For me, one of those voices is that of Rosemary Wells. I still remember the day when our children’s librarian recommended her books. Throughout his childhood, both our son and I enjoyed the emotional depth of her characters, the warmth of her illustrations, and the beautiful simplicity of her stories. Of her extensive list of works, my favorites remain Shy Charles and her Voyage to the Bunny Planet Trilogy, both of which are subtly empowering stories for emotionally intense young children, encouraging them to stay true to who they are and to use their imaginations to travel to “the day that should have been.”
“The characters in a children’s book must reach into the heart of the reader on page one. Emotional content is the main reason a child and a parent will go back to a book again and again.” ~ Rosemary Wells
In a Horn Book radio interview, she explained the importance of story:
“The story comes first, the pictures come second, and there’s a trend now in children’s books to to make it so that the story is a vehicle for pictures. This is a very bad idea, because children want the story. Remember, children — young children are listening most of the time. If you can go back to the finest children’s books in the past thirty or forty years you will find that the classics that stand up are always books where the story is wonderful.”
“Going to work and having it be such endless challenge and satisfaction is the greatest gift of my life.” ~ Rosemary Wells