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What We're Reading: Miss Rumphius

Book ReviewsMegan PeronaComment

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, $17.99

A little girl named Alice lived in a house by the sea with her grandfather. Her grandfather was an artist and woodcarver who would tell her stories of his travels. She told him that when she grows up she too would like to travel to faraway places and live in a house by the sea. He tells her that is all very well, but she must do something to make the world more beautiful.

Alice grows up and becomes Miss Rumphius. She fulfills her dreams of traveling the world and settles down in a house by the sea, yet still has to find a way to make the world beautiful. Taking a walk one day, she notices that the tall purple, blue and rose colored flowers she planted in the hard rocky ground around her house have spread to the hills beyond, their seeds scattered by the wind. This gives her an idea. She orders bushels of lupine seeds and begins scattering the seeds far and wide. Soon her whole town is covered in lupine flowers and everyone calls her “The Lupine Lady”.

This book which Barbara Cooney has said, “is as close to an autobiography as she will ever write,” continues to inspire more than 30 years after its publication! It shows how far one simple action can go to make the world a better place. How will you help beautify our world? Ages 5-8