Rose and Riley
- written by Jane Cutler
- illustrated by Thomas F. Yezerski
- Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005
- 48 pp., full-color illustrations
- ages 6-8
- ISBN-10: 0-374-36340-4
- ISBN-13: 978-0-374-36340-6
Rose and Riley are good friends. Rose is a vole, with a little, round body, skinny arms, and long feet. She has good ideas for things to do, but she sometimes worries too much. Riley is a groundhog, big and furry, with stumpy arms and legs. He just likes to have fun, but he sometimes needs Rose’s help to figure things out. Rose and Riley see life differently, but they are always there for each other.
In “The Un-Birthday Party,” Rose gets the idea to have a party on a day that’s not her birthday. Then Riley wants to have a party. They imagine what it would be like if everyone had un-birthday parties every day. There are three stories in Rose and Riley. The first story is just called “Rose and Riley,” like the book. Rose and Riley want to have fun outside on a sunny day. Rose keeps her umbrella open to be ready for rain. Riley leaves his umbrella at home. Rose is so worried in “The Worry Dolls,” that she can’t do anything but lie on the couch. Then Riley is worried about Rose. He goes home to make dolls for his friend to tell her worries to.
Reviews and Awards
Rose and Riley was the first easy-reader I illustrated — and the first one I read. My editor, Margaret Ferguson, sent the stories to me and asked me to come up with characters to go with the words. The only rule was that they had to be animals. As soon as I read it, I knew Rose and Riley had different personalities. I thought they should look very different, too. I also saw how funny they were. Because of Jane Cutler’s great writing, I could tell what Rose and Riley were thinking when they weren’t rude enough say it. They were so polite to each other, even when one wasn’t being very smart. I thought that was the meaning of real friendship. Rose and Riley always go out of their way to help each other without making each other feel stupid. I tried making characters who might look silly to each other, because I thought it would be even funnier and touching that they never mention each other’s faults. Margaret and Jane liked the pictures I sent (one ended up being the picture on page 7), so they let me illustrate the whole book!