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Rosemary Wells

As a child

Born in New York City, Rosemary grew up in a house filled with “books, dogs, and nineteenth-century music.” After a brief tenure at the Museum School in Boston, she married and began a career as a book designer, then published her own first picture book in 1968.

As an adult

Many, but not all of Rosemary ’s ideas come from within the family circle. “I put into my books all of the things I remember,” she says. “I am an accomplished eavesdropper in restaurants, on trains, and at 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 lives outside of New York City.

As an artist

Young children everywhere have adored the more than sixty picture books Rosemary has created over some 3 decades. “Simple incidents from childhood are universal,” she says. “The children and our home life have inspired many of my books.” Among them are two endearing books she wrote and illustrated, Felix Feels Better (a New York Times bestseller) and Felix and the Worrier, both about a loveable little guinea pig. “Most of my books use animals rather than children as characters,” Rosemary admits. “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.”

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