Synopses & Reviews
When Ruby invites seven stuffed toy guests to Grandma's birthday party, they all answer YES. Max wants to invite his Jellyball Shooter Spider, his Space Cadet, and his Can't-Sit-Up Slug, but Ruby says no. Yet each time Ruby counts the number of places at the table, another guest has mysteriously appeared. Is Ruby having a bad counting day? Or is someone having a little fun with the guest list? One part musical chairs, one part counting trickery, and all parts Max, this hilarious new story is Max and Ruby at their best!
Rosemary Wells is the acclaimed author of more than sixty books for children, including the Max and Ruby books, and Timothy Goes to School, now a PBS animated television series.
Praise forand#160;Bunny Cakes
"The famous Max and his sister, Ruby, are the stars of this self-proclaimed brand-name productionand#8212;A Max and Ruby Picture Book-and#8212;but there is no formula here--only extreme originality."and#8212;Kirkus Reviews
"Wells has that rare ability to tell a funny story for very young children with domestic scenes of rising excitement and heartfelt emotion, and with not one word too many."and#8212;Booklist
"A confectionary delight, with layers of laughter."and#8212;School Library Journal
"When it comes to the interplay between pared-down text and eventful illustrations, Wells, quite simply, takes the cake."and#8212;Publishers Weekly
Bunny Cakes is a Read for the Record title!
It's Grandma's birthday, and Max wants to make her an icky, worm-infested cake. But Ruby says, "No, Max. We are going to make Grandma an angel surprise cake, with raspberry-fluff icing." Will Max let his bossy older sister keep him out of the kitchen? Or will they both become bunnies who bake?
"A confectionary delight, with layers of laughter."and#151;School Library Journal
The popular bunny siblings are back in two more board books?but as their baby selves.
In Love, readers find out who Max loves best. Is it the one who wakes him? The one who takes him for a ride? The one who plays with him? The one who stays with him?
In Counting Peas, an ill-timed sneeze sends Max?s peas in all directions. Max helps out by picking them up: five, two, seven.
With eye-catching novelty elements, these irresistible board books will introduce the very youngest readers to the beloved bunny pair, who star in their own show on Nick Jr. and Noggin.
About the Author
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.
When I was two years old I began to draw and they saw right away the career that lay ahead of me and encouraged me every day of my life. As far back as I can remember, I did nothing but draw."
A self-proclaimed "poor student," Wells attended the Museum School in Boston after finishing high school. It was, she recalls, "a bastion of abstract expressionism an art form that brought to my mind things I don't like to eat, fabrics that itch against the skin, divorce, paper cuts, and metallic noises."
Without her degree, she left school at 19, married, and began a fledgling career as a book designer with a Boston textbook publisher. When her husband, Tom, applied to the Columbia School of Architecture two years later, the couple moved to New York, where she began her career in children's books working as a designer at Macmillan. It was there that she published her first book, an illustrated edition of Gilbert and Sullivan's I Have a Song to Sing-O.
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."
Mrs. Wells says, "Most of my books use animals rather than children as characters. People always ask why. There are many reasons. First, I draw animals more easily and amusingly than I do children. Animals are broader in range--age, time, and place--than children are. They also can do things in pictures that children cannot. They can be slapstick and still real, rough and still funny, maudlin and still touching.
In Benjamin and Tulip, Tulip falls out of a tree and mashes Benjamin in the mud. If these pictures were of children, they would be too close to violent reality for comfort, and all the humor would be lost."
Her writing career has been a "pure delight," she says. "I regret only that I cannot live other lives parallel to my own. Writing is a lonely profession and I am a gregarious sort of person. I would like someday to work for the FBI. A part of me was never satisfied with years of tennis. I still yearned to play basketball."