Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

7 Feb

Barbara Cooney’s Miss Rumphius takes the reader on a journey through the life of Miss Rumphius also known as ” the lupine lady.” Miss Rumphius sets out to do things in her life, like going on a faraway journey to a tropical place or scattering lupines throughout the countryside. Miss Rumphius tells a tale that both the young and old can identify with. This story seems suited to older primary students, second to fifth grades, and gives the reader insight on growing old and the importance of setting your sights high and just plain following your heart. Cooney’s illustrations are brilliantly simple,painted in acrylics and emphasized with prisma-colors, the people are stylized and the pictures lend vitality to the narrative. This book could be used as an introduction to a myriad of lessons from writing to stewardship. It is certainly one to consider adding to your primary collection.

Book Cover

Insight:

As a young child I envisioned all people as caretakers of the Earth. Getting older you see how people throw trash out their car windows, dump oil in to streams and many more unmentionable unkind acts towards mother Earth. This book reminded me that not all is lost. There is still hope and it can begin with one person- a Miss Rumphius if you will. We need many more Miss Rumphius’ , so read this book and share the importance of being good stewards of our planet with young readers.

Suggested Library Activity:

Use this book to teach a lesson on why we must take care of our environment. What Miss Rumphius do to make the world a beautiful place? What could you do? Have children create poster-collages (use recycled paper and materials) that illustrate and convey how they would keep the world beautiful.

Bibliographic Citation:

Cooney, B. (1982). Miss rumphius. New York: Viking Press.


Additional Book Review:

Miss Rumphius has a deep desire to leave the world more beautiful than she found it, an idea planted years earlier by her grandfather. She does what she can, spreading lupine seeds that grow in colorful splendor. Cooney delivers a strong message of our obligation to care for the environment. Video & audio avail. from Weston Woods.

Bock, L. (2003, February 1). Moral and Ethical Concepts [ Book review of Miss Rumphius]. School Library Online. Retrieved from http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA272674.html

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