Rosemary Wells
Children's Author & Illustrator

Rosemary Wells’ career as an author and illustrator spans more than 40 years and 120 books. She has won numerous awards, and she has given readers such unforgettable characters as Max and Ruby, Noisy Nora, and Yoko. She has also given Mother Goose new life in two definitive editions and created an unforgettable world for grown-ups and kids alike in Voyage to the Bunny Planet. Her recent book, Hand in Hand, is meant to give a lift to Parents at Risk, who rarely see poetry or beautiful pictures.


Rosemary Wells was born in New York City and raised on the New Jersey shore. She grew up in a home that was always filled with books, dogs, classical music, and other things her parents held in great esteem.


At two years old Rosemary began to draw. When she was not outdoors, she was always drawing. At nineteen, she attended Boston Museum School. Rosemary worked seven years in publishing before her first book was published in 1968, an illustrated edition of Gilbert and Sullivan’s A Song to Sing, O!


Speaking about her youth, Rosemary recalls, “New Jersey was farm country, and I spent much of my time outdoors, running around the woods behind our house and playing baseball with the neighbors’ kids. I spent a lot of time with animals, horses, and dogs. My grandmother took me on special trips to the theater and museums in New York City. I was born during a golden age of childhood in our country’s history. And I was lucky because my parents were happy and they supported all that I wanted to do. They had both been in the theater and understood the arts from the inside. We had a houseful of wonderful books. Reading stories aloud was as much a part of my childhood as the air I breathed.”

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Holt Books for Young Readers

In this sweet and heartfelt picture book, renowned author-illustrator Rosemary Wells celebrates all that parents do with and for their children from the very beginning: talking and walking, feeding and reading, playing and dreaming, and more.

Lassie Come-HomeEric Knight’s Original 1938 Classic in a New Picture-Book Edition
Square Fish

Rosemary Well's and Eric Knight's heartfelt tale of the noble collie Lassie, first published in 1938, receives a worthy new incarnation as a picture book in this splendid collaboration.

Booking Up Our Kids Reading to our children and encouraging them to read aloud is essential to their emotional and social growth. In this talk, Rosemary discusses reading as a learning process and brings in some of her works to illustrate reading, playing, and healthy development. Hand in Hand, Rosemary’s recent book, is the perfect book for this topic as it covers all the main points of a healthy first through fifth year of life, showing parenting skills for at-risk children.
The Young Writer’s Workshop The Young Writer’s Workshop is based in the Columbia Teachers College program and guides young writers. It teaches them techniques such as organizing random subject matter to make a coherent, readable whole.
The Young Artist’s Workshop Drawing on over 40 years of artistic expertise, Rosemary shares her studio techniques and shows how children can use these techniques, too. Rosemary inspires young artists to continue their artistic development. This workshop is adaptable to a one day presentation or even a week long residence.

Read an interview with Rosemary Wells.

Read about one of Rosemary’s trips to a school.

Check our her personal website.

"Our school had the pleasure of hosting Mrs. Wells for two days and our time with her was truly everything you hope for in a visit with an author. Her large group sessions included a tour of her illustration process, work routines, art materials, creative techniques, the editing process, and a look inside her studio. She even took things a step further and talked about the origins of her many art materials...In addition to her “Young Artist” presentations, our second grade classes had the opportunity to meet individually with Rosemary for Artist Workshops. These sessions were AMAZING. She brought with her the actual stamps that she uses to create houses in her Max and Ruby illustrations. She showed the students how to ink them up, carefully stamp them on sturdy paper, and then use the proper technique to color them with colored pencils...One of our Junior Kindergarten teachers shared with me that when her class was recently brainstorming “R” words, one of the students shouted out “Rosemary Wells!” Her visit definitely left all of us with a very lasting impression!"
- Jennifer Hogenboom, Savannah Country Day Lower School

"I just wanted to thank you for being a speaker at our one-day conference. You were wonderful, and the participants really enjoyed you. You are a wonderful, caring person, which is evident in your message. Please continue to do all you can to support our parents. We will share the video with others, and hope, like you, to share your important message with those we encounter. May you be blessed for all the good you do for so many people."
- Lynne, Read to Me International

"Rosemary Wells did a fabulous job teaching us about her entire creative process. She showed us her studio, how she has a warm up routine, what inspires her, and how she gathers ideas... It was all very inspiring, but the most awe inspiring part was when she showed photos of her 5 year old granddaughter using the same materials as she was and produced beautiful, amazing pieces of art too! All the children who attended had lots of questions and comments... The children were thrilled to know she created her characters from her own life experiences. They left knowing they could write about their own experiences, they could create characters based on the people they know, and they could practice writing and drawing to become better and better at it. There were smiles all around!"
- First Grade Teacher, Savannah Country Day Lower School