Scholastic’s Rosemary Wells Collection Featuring Max and Ruby is a two disc affair featuring 8 stories two of which are given a Spanish version (Max’s Christmas and Noisy Nora) in the bonus features. The stories are narrated by Beth Hurt, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and performed by Mary Chapin Carpenter to name a few.
I began my observations with Noisy Nora. The disc contains the title story, Voyage To the Bunny Planet, Emily’s First 100 Days of School, and Reading To Your Bunny. Noisy Nora is a cute (short) little story that is given a great voice by Beth Hurt. Kids will enjoy the subtle story of patience. Emily’s First 100 Days of School is still an agonizingly long story. Mind you I applaud the ticker rolling along the bottom offering up a counter which features the number of the day in both numerical and written form to supply kids with a visual but to sit through all 100 days of school is a tiring affair. This story was also featured in Scholastic’s Chicka Chicka 123 and is the first of the stories to feature a blah voice narration. Voyage To Planet Bunny is next and is yet another poorly voiced narration, this time by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Her monotonous delivery makes the story seem like it lasts forever. Reading To Your Bunny picks up the disc a little but again just seems so dull. I had cringe inducing panic going into the second disc.
Max’s Chocolate Bunny features the title story, Max’s Christmas, Morris’s Disappearing Bag, and Otto Run For President. What can I say about this second disc? It contains all the fun and flow that the first disc lacked. From the first story to the last its well narrated, funny, short or if not, as the old saying goes, “Time flies when your having fun”.
The bonus features on both discs include Spanish Versions of one story from each, An interview with author Rosemary Wells (Planet Bunny and Otto Runs For President), A Read-Along option for all the stories which puts text on the screen highlighting the words as they are read aloud, Talk About The Stories, and a Visit With Rosemary Wells.