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Morris' Disappearing Bag Paperback – September 24, 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The classic 1975 story of the preschool rabbit who unwraps a present containing a Disappearing Bag has been reissued in a larger format and with new illustrations. Wells' bright watercolor-and-acrylic artwork adds zest and warmth to the story of the youngest rabbit, who is disappointed with the less-than-exciting stuffed bear he gets for Christmas--but delighted with an overlooked package he finds under the tree. Wells' wonderful story and artwork will captivate parents as well as children: the humorous spoof of Botticelli's Birth of Venus hanging on the wall is delightful, as are the characters' charming expressions and poses. A fine reissue. Shelley Townsend-Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Rosemary Wells is the creator of many unforgettable children's book characters, including Max and Ruby, McDuff, and Yoko, each of whom stars in their own book series. She is also the author of perennial favorites about universal childhood experiences, such as Noisy Nora and Read To Your Bunny. Rosemary Wells lives in upstate New York.

Rosemary Wells is the creator of many unforgettable children's book characters, including Max and Ruby, McDuff, and Yoko, each of whom stars in their own book series. She is also the author of perennial favorites about universal childhood experiences, such as Noisy Nora and Read To Your Bunny. Rosemary Wells lives in upstate New York.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Lexile Measure: 0360 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reissue edition (September 24, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142300047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142300046
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #592,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More 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. "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."

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What if you were the youngest rabbit in the family and nobody wanted to play with your Christmas bear because it was too babyish? Would you feel left out if your sisters and brother said you were too little to play with THEIR presents? Would you sit in the corner with your ears drooping in sadness?

If that tugs at your heartstrings, meet Morris. He's the dearest little bunny you ever saw, and SO sad on Christmas morning. He loves his new bear but he's too little to play with Rose's beauty kit, Victor's hockey stick, and Betty's chemistry set. While they are having fun, Morris crawls under the tree and finds ONE FORGOTTEN PRESENT, a bag. He pulls himself into the bag and -- DISAPPEARS!

Oho! Now the other bunnies are singing a different song. They all want to share their presents with Morris while they try out his disappearing bag. Who can blame them? Wouldn't we all like a disappearing bag from time to time? Such a fine present. Morris generously gives turns with his bag and has a go with the other presents. He's got the most coveted Christmas gift of all, but all he wants is a little consideration, to be part of the crowd, to be included.

Rosemary Wells writes a terrific story and her illustrations are sheer delight. Little droopy bunny ears, puffy cotton tails sticking out of the bag, hilarious bunny play with the chemicals, the makeup, the hockey kit -- and precious little Morris with all his feelings worn on his sleeve.

I've had this book since my sons were little, and given it to a number of children. I always buy a new copy for myself, just in case I need it. My favorite!

Linda Bulger, 2008
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Format: Paperback
I have a big box of children's Christmas books that I keep in the garage most of the year, and bring out in late November, but even though this book tells a Christmas story, it has never gone in the Christmas box. My kids wouldn't give it up. It continues to be read all year. I'm not sure exactly what it is about this book. It's kind of a silly little story about a little bunny, the youngest in his family, the one who is overlooked, who discovers an unnoticed present under the Christmas tree -- a bag that can make anyone who crawls into it disappear. But there's just something delightful and fun about it. We especially like the fact that only what's completely in the bag disappears, and Morris doesn't ever quite manage to get his whole body in the bag, so in each picture a little piece of him (tips of ears, or cottony tail) are sticking out. It's fun to find Morris in each picture. In fact, overall, this is probably the most fun Christmas book I've ever seen.
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Format: Paperback
Now a quick note: In the original publication of "Morris's Disappearing Bag", Morris is a little white bunny. He has now been colored brown. Very interesting choice on the part of the publisher.
I hereby nominate Rosemary Wells the winner of the Cute But Never Saccharine Picture Book Award printed between the years of 1800-2589. You are familiar with her work, even if you have never read it. Best known for her early board books starring the irascible Max and his patient elder sibling, the author also did slightly older fare. In every book, however, Wells takes the side of the underdog. The littlest sibling. The one most prone to feeling left out. In "Morris's Disappearing Bag" this theme has become all encompassing. Here is a story that truly captures what it feels like to be ignored and unwanted by your siblings.

It is Christmas Day and Morris is delighted. As he and his three elder siblings open their presents, each rabbit (for so they are) is enraptured by their gift. Victor gets a hockey outfit, Rose a beauty kit, and Betty (just to smash a couple stereotypes while we're at it) a chemistry set. Morris gets a lovely bear, but it soon occurs to him that his siblings don't appreciate his present. While they switch one another's gifts and experiment with them, Morris is left all alone. No one wants to play with his bear. It isn't until Morris locates an extra unwrapped present containing a bag of invisibility that Morris finally has a gift cool enough to lure his elder sibs with.
Is there a moral to be learned here? I dunno. If there was it would probably be something along the lines of "Get a better toy and win the love of your fellow man". I don't buy it, personally.
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Format: Paperback
It's Christmas morning and Morris gets a teddy bear while his brother and sisters get great gifts that Morris isn't allowed to play with. While Morris mopes he finds a disappearing bag. Suddenly no one can find him. But when he's finally discovered, he gladly shares it with his siblings, who stuff themselves into it all at the same time. While they use the bag he has a fabulous time playing with their toys.
This is a great book. It's one of my all time favorite Rosemary Wells books that isn't related to her famous Max and Ruby. My children really enjoy it and wish they had a bag just like it!
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Format: Hardcover
As a kid this (along with Noisy Nora) was my favourite book and I still think it's one of my all time greats. It has moved house and country with me innumerable times.
It's a sweet story about Christmas, feeling left out by older kids, triumphing by winning attention and causing trouble, and learning to love a bear, but it's never saccharine or preachy.
It's a must have for every house that ever has a small child visit (and also for those who like to see bears triumph over more gimmicky gifts).
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