post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Miss Rumphius
Author: Barbara Cooney
Major Themes: Beauty, Flowers
Synopsis: Miss Rumphius has fulfilled her dreams of traveling the world, but what can she do to make the world a more beautiful place, as her grandfather told her to do?
I love Miss Rumphius. This is a delightful picture book about how one lady made the world a more beautiful place. As a little girl, she would often tell her grandfather about the things she wanted to do when she grew up. He always told her there was one more thing she needed to do, which was to make the world more beautiful. She couldn’t imagine what that one thing could be, but finally she found something.
Besides the lovely story, the pictures in this book are beautiful. They are slightly stylized, but very beautiful paintings. There are pictures of Alice growing up in a city by the sea, and working in a big city library as Miss Rumphius, and of the places she went around the world when she started traveling. At the end, she hands the challenge on to her great-grand niece—you need to find a way to make the world more beautiful.