Children’s book author Rosemary Wells visited with 500 K-4 students from Rumford and Meroby elementary schools on May 16 to talk what goes into creating one of her books. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD — More than 500 excited K-4 students were bussed to Muskie Auditorium at Mountain Valley High School on May 16 for a special visit from a children’s author.

At the end of their visit with children’s book author Rosemary Wells, each student received a copy of Wells’ book, Yoko. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

The special guest was children’s book author Rosemary Wells of Norwalk, CT, who has been writing and illustrating books for more than half a century. She was visiting here at the invitation of Chuck and Hilary Wilcoxen with Team Long Run, a Bridgton-based non-profit organization that helps school-age children improve their literacy by combining it with exercise and fun activities.

Wells spoke at the podium with the aid of a vidio screen so the children could see the magic of her work from her Norwalk studio.

She said her books involve working with people involved with editing, publishing and directing her illustrations. “No one can work alone.”

Building a book involves having a dummy for the layout and a number of revisions. Wells also does her own illustrations, utilizing a variety of materials and methods like stamps, pastels, spatter, collage to enhance her artwork. One item she doesn’t use to make her illustrations is crayons.

Wells, at age 81, is still passionate about her work. “It’s important that you love your work. If you do, you’ll do it 10 times until it’s right.”


Near the end of the presentation, teachers asked questions that were raised by students.

Students from Rumford and Meroby elementary schools visited Mountain Valley High School to hear a presentation from Children’s book author Rosemary Wells. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

Questions included how many books has she written and how long do they take.

Wells responded that she’s written 130 books, and that she continues to write and illustrate them. On average, a book take around six months to complete.

Chuck said TLR is in its seventh year, and they’ve been sponsored for the past three years by Friends of the River Valley, which coordinated with TLR and Principal Jodi Ellis to fund an exercise and literacy program called ‘Sizzle & Pop’ for both Meroby and Rumford elementary schools and the local Head Start program. FRV also introduced TLR to private donors, the Margaret Burnham Charitable Foundation, and the Maine Community Foundation to round out the needed financial support to cover the cost for the entire academic year.

As the students left the auditorium, each student was presented with Wells’ book, Yoko, thanks to the sponsorship of FRV.

To donate to Team Long Run: visit donate to Friends of the River Valley: visit

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