Item description for Listos Para Leer (Todos a Aprender) by Rosemary Wells & Michael Koelsch...
Overview Timothy and his kindergarten classmates learn to identify the letters and sounds of the alphabet, recognize rhymes, and build simple words in a book that includes skill-building activities for beginning readers.
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Rosemary Wells is the creator of many unforgettable children's book characters, including Max and Ruby, McDuff, and Yoko, each of whom stars in their own book series. She is also the author of perennial favorites about universal childhood experiences, such as Noisy Nora and Read To Your Bunny. Rosemary Wells lives in upstate New York.
Born in New York City, Rosemary Wells grew up in a house "filled with books, dogs, and nineteenth-century music." Her childhood years were spent between her parents' home near Red Bank, New Jersey, and her grandmother's rambling stucco house on the Jersey Shore. Most of her sentimental memories, both good and bad, stem from that place and time. Her mother was a dancer in the Russian Ballet, and her father a playwright and actor. Mrs. Wells says, "Both my parents flooded me with books and stories. My grandmother took me on special trips to the theater and museums in New York. "Rosemary Wells's career as an author and illustrator spans more than 30 years and 60 books.
She has won numerous awards, and has given readers such unforgettable characters as Max and Ruby, Noisy Nora, and Yoko. She has also given Mother Goose new life in two enormous, definitive editions, published by Candlewick. Wells wrote and illustrated Unfortunately Harriet, her first book with Dial, in 1972. One year later she wrote the popular Noisy Nora. "The children and our home life have inspired, in part, many of my books. Our West Highland white terrier, Angus, had the shape and expressions to become Benjamin and Tulip, Timothy, and all the other animals
I have made up for my stories." Her daughters Victoria and Beezoo were constant inspirations, especially for the now famous "Max" board book series. "Simple incidents from childhood are universal," Wells says. "The dynamics between older and younger siblings are common to all families."But not all of Wells' ideas come from within the family circle. Many times when speaking, Mrs. Wells is asked where her ideas come from. She usually answers, "It's a writer's job to have ideas." Sometimes an idea comes from something she reads or hears about, as in the case of her recent book, Mary on Horseback, a story based on the life of Mary Breckenridge, who founded the Frontier Nursing Service. Timothy Goes to School was based on an incident in which her daughter was teased for wearing the wrong clothes to a Christmas concert. Her dogs, west highland terriers, Lucy and Snowy, work their way into her drawings in expression and body position. She admits, "I put into my books all of the things I remember. I am an accomplished eavesdropper in restaurants, trains, and gatherings of any kind. These remembrances are jumbled up and changed because fiction is always more palatable than truth. Memories become more true as they are honed and whittled into characters and stories."
Rosemary Wells In Her Own Words
As far back as I can remember, I did nothing but draw. I discovered very early that making a picture of anything meant people saying, “Look at that!” How else could I get that kind of attention?
After high school, I went to the Museum School in Boston. At nineteen, I left school, married Tom Wells, and began a career as a book designer. Two years later, when my husband applied to the Columbia School of Architecture, we moved to New York City. I found a job as a designer at Macmillan, where I published my first book, Sing a Song, O!
My home life has inspired many of my books. Our West Highland white terrier, Angus, had the shape and expressions to become Benjamin, Tulip, Timothy, and all the other animals I have made up for my stories. He also appears as himself in a couple of books.
My two daughters have been constant inspirations, especially for my Max books. Simple incidents from childhood are universal. The dynamics between older and younger siblings are common to all families. I am also an accomplished eavesdropper in restaurants, trains, and gatherings of any kind.
Writing for children is as difficult as writing serious verse. Writing for children is as mysterious as writing fine music. It is as personal as singing.
Once the story is there, the drawings just appear. I feel the emotion I want to show; then I let it run down my arm from my face, and it goes out the pencil. My drawings look as if they are done quickly. They are not. First they are sketched in light pencil, then nearly rubbed out, then drawn again in heavier pencil. What appears to be a thick ink line is really a series of layers of tiny ink lines. When I finish these lines, the drawing is ready for color.
I have been writing and illustrating for almost 30 years. It has been a pure delight. There are hard parts, but no bad or boring parts — that is more than can be said for any other line of work that I know.
Rosemary Wells currently resides in Briarcliff Manor, in the state of New York. Rosemary Wells was born in 1943.