Miss Rumphius

by Barbara Cooney

Paperback, 1985




Puffin Books (1985), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 32 pages


As a child Great-aunt Alice Rumphius resolved that when she grew up she would go to faraway places, live by the sea in her old age, and do something to make the world more beautiful--and she does all those things, the last being the most difficult of all.

User reviews

LibraryThing member kimbrady
Barbara Cooney's sweet story and colorful, painterly illustrations won an American Book Award in 1983. Miss Rumphius had a goal as a child to travel the world and learn about everything. The book follows her life through travels and into old age. Having met her personal goal, Miss Rumphius has one more thing to do: make the world more beautiful. In addition to themes of personal journeys and fulfillment, "Miss Rumphius" is also about learning and sharing across generations. Cooney's painted illustrations are colorful and precise with plenty of beautiful detail. The content is appropriate for any age; the reading level is about middle elementary. This would be a good addition to a school or public library children's collection.… (more)
LibraryThing member arewald
A truly beautiful picture book about a little girl who declares that she will do three things in her life: go to faraway places, live by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful. The illustrations are rich and colorful and the text has a lyrical, wistful tone as it traces the life of Miss Rumphius from a little girl on her grandfather's knee to the wise old Lupine Lady.… (more)
LibraryThing member renee.sutter
This story is about Miss Rumphius whose grandfather tells her there are three things she must do. Travel the world, return and live in a house by the sea and do something to make the world a better place. She fulfills all three obligations and makes the world a better place by planting lupine seeds all over. I absolutely adore this book. The moral of the story is about making the world a better place. I think this could be read to any age group followed by a discussion of how they can make the world a better place.… (more)
LibraryThing member ksimpson
Everyone knows someone in their lives who has been there and done that. Perhaps that person is you. Either way, you can relate to this book. Miss Rumphius has traveled the world, seen wonderful things, and done wonderful things. When she becomes older she tries to think of something that she can do to leave the world a more beautiful place than when she found it.

This is another book that has beautiful pictures. It really gets your imagination going. The message of the story is good too. It makes me want to travel the world.

If I used this in a classroom, I would probably use it with a unit about traveling. Every class is going to be different, but whether your children get to go on vacations or not this book is a good way to get them thinking about what they want to do, where they want to go, and what they are going to leave behind in the future.
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LibraryThing member ermilligan
The moral of the story is about making the world a better place. It explains how each person is responsible for doing their part to make sure that happens.
LibraryThing member ggenao
This book reminds me Johnny Appleseed and it is a motivation to be determine to be different in life.
LibraryThing member kidlit9
Great-aunt Alice Rumphius was once a little girl who loved the sea, longed to visit faraway places, and wished to do something to make the world more beautiful.
LibraryThing member stharp
This book covers such a great topic of the things that we hope will happen to us when we follow our dreams. This woman sets to her ambitions and Alice really follows through with following her Grandfather's footsteps. It makes you really love Alice and her ambitions and accomplishments throughout the
LibraryThing member eecnelsen
This book is told second hand by the niece of Miss Rumphius. It is about dreams how she had the dream of going to faraway places and to come home and live by the sea. Her father made her promise to also make the world more beautiful. She does this by planting lupines all around the countryside. The illistrations are very realistic and fun.… (more)
LibraryThing member kirkonly
This is a great book told from Miss Rumphius's niece point of view of her life. She painted with her grandfather, listened to stories of fair away lands and needed to find a way to make the world beautiful. She did many things throughout her life and saw more, but she didn't find a way to make the world beautiful, or did she?

As a student this is a great read!! I like seeing where Miss Rumphius went and what she did. I also like finding out if she made the world more beautiful or not.

As a teacher reading this book, i liked the story alot. It is a story that everyone can relate to, or know someone that it relates to. I could use this book as an introduction to a family unit in class.
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LibraryThing member psjones
This was one of my favorite books as a child. This book is incredibly well written and has wonderful vocabulary for children. I love the different illustrations of far away places.
LibraryThing member conuly
First, let me mention that this is a pretty wordy book. Maybe a bit too wordy, because it does seem to drag on in parts. I'm constantly cutting out a paragraph here or there because it doesn't add much to the story and I really want to get on with things anyway.

And, you know, it is a nice story - about a woman who "makes the world more beautiful" by planting lupines - but there just isn't much to it.

It's not very compelling to me. We read it only occasionally.
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LibraryThing member nmhale
I love this beautiful story, so full of heart. Alice Rumphius has vowed to travel to travel to faraway places, and live by the sea, just like her grandfather. He asked of her only one more thing: to make the world a more beautiful place. While her first two goals are easier to accomplish, she is puzzled by her grandfather's request, until a chance wind teaches her how she can make the world a beautiful place in her own way.

This story rings with wisdom and love. It teaches children (and adults, too!) about beauty, whose nature is subjective and personal, shifting and changing, yet present in all the world. The book also challenges readers to discover his or her own definition for beauty, and moreover, to contribute their beauty to others. I am teary-eyed every time I finish this story. Thank you, Ms. Cooney, for leaving us such a powerful book.
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LibraryThing member h_clark
This is a beautifully written story with beautiful illustrations to go along with it. I love the wisdom of making sure to leave the world a more beautiful place.
LibraryThing member TorrieM
This story is about Miss Rumphius. Her grandfather asked her to do three things. To travel the world, live by the sea, and make the world more beautiful. She did everything her grandfather asked her to do. She planted Lupines to make the world beautiful. It shows children different places around the world and the importance of keeping it beautiful. It also shows to them how everything we do will change the future. I would read this book to 1st-4th graders. Teach them to do things that will make a difference.… (more)
LibraryThing member champlin
Picture Book. When Miss Rumphius was a little girl she made a promise to herself that she would travel to faraway places. She also made a promise that she would do something that would make the world a more beautiful place. She becomes a librarian travels the world and in her old age plants lupins for all to enjoy. This book is great to use for the concept of making the world a better place and the idea of travel and the history behind the places she travels.… (more)
LibraryThing member kperk12
Miss Rumphius is a very inspirational book for young children. 2nd or 3rd graders would enjoy this tale. This young girl is speaking about her great aunt and how as a young one herself decided she would travel to far away places, live by the sea and make the world a more beautiful place. She accomplished her dreams in wonderful ways and this book is a sweet way to encourage students to always look for ways to make the world a prettier place to live.… (more)
LibraryThing member aezeek
Miss Rumphius was once a little girl named Alice hwo dreamed of traveling to see far away places when she grew up, just like her grandfather had. Her grandfather told her "You must do something to make the world more beautiful." She did not know what it was, but later in the book Alice, or Miss Rumphius travels the world and finds her purpose by planting lupines everywhere and making the world a better place.… (more)
LibraryThing member ktibbs
Wonderful story about a girl named Alice who is told by her grandfather to do something to make the world more beautiful. It is not until she is older that she decides to plane lupine seeds all over the town and countryside. That spring, lupines grow everywhere and are admired by all. The story is told by Alice's Great- Niece and in the end Alice tells her Great Niece and her friends to do something to make the world more beautiful as well.....… (more)
LibraryThing member mcivalleri
This book has depth. It is a story of a woman's life, to be sure. But because they touch on illness, and aging, and a list of things to do during your life, it has some serious fiber to it. The idea that it is of utmost importance to do something good for the world is kept alive through the book. And of course, at some point, her grandmother is a librarian, so that makes it a winner right there!… (more)
LibraryThing member aecrozier
This story is about a little girl who has an aunt that lives by the sea. The story begins when the little girl's aunt was small. She used to spend a lot of time with her grandfather who taought her about art and told her stories about the world. One day he told her that when she grews up she must do something to make the world more beautiful so with that in her mind she set off to start her new life. She was a librarian for a while and the children called her Miss. Rumphius. The she traveled the world and soon decided that it was time for her to take her place by the sea. So she moved to a little house by the ocean and planted flowers in her garden. One day she was out walking and noticed that the seeds she had planted in her garden had traveled up the hill. This gave her the great idea to plant flowers all around her town in order to make the world more beautiful. The story ends with the girl girl from the beginning of the story saying that she onw day just like her aunt will make the world more beautiful in some way or another.… (more)
LibraryThing member catieanderson4
This book is a little bit more complicated. I would say to read this to around a third or fourth grade class. This is a book that I would read as whole group winding down time. I really liked how the pictures look. I think that this book teaches a very good life lesson of going for what you dream of, and by making your life worth something big and making a difference.… (more)
LibraryThing member wendyfincher
In this book a child is telling the life story of their Great-aunt Alice or also known as Miss Rumphius. As a child Miss Rumphius would sit on her grandfather's knee while he told her stories about his travels. She always wanted to travel and when she grew up she did. But her grandfather made her promise to do something to make the world a more beautiful place. It wasn't until Miss Rumphius was old that she figured out how she would make the world more beautiful. She planted lupines for everyone to enjoy and then she had the child telling the story in the book to promise to do something to make the world a more beautiful place.… (more)
LibraryThing member Anna-KateSisson
This book is about a girl whose grandmother tells her that she should do something to make the world beautiful. She doesn't know what to do but as she grows older she realizes that she has a gift with flowers. Although many people call her the "crazy flower lady" she knows that she is making the world a more beautiful place.
LibraryThing member coresonk
Mis Rumphius makes three promises to her grandfather when she is very young. She will travel to far away places, she will live by the sea, and she will make the world more beautiful. The prettily illustrated book follows her on her journey to keep these three promises, and she does. THis is a great tale to teach everyone about setting goals that not only make you happy, but better the world.… (more)


Original publication date


Physical description

32 p.; 8 inches


0140505393 / 9780140505399



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