Miss Rumphius

Reviewing Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers:  How a First Lady Changed America by Kathi Appelt and illustrated by Joy Fisher Hein made me remember another of our favorite older picture books, Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. The book is a fictional biography, so it has a very similar feel. Also, lupines or bluebonnets play a prominent role. It would be a great fictional book to pair with Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers.

The title character, Miss Rumphius, is challenged by her grandfather when she is a child to “do something to make the world more beautiful.” The story continues as she grows up, travels and has some health issues that slow her down. Her grandfather’s challenge remains in her mind, however, until one day she realizes how she can achieve her goal.

I discovered this lovely video that celebrates the story by translating the story into poetry and adds music.


Doesn’t the story make you want to run out and buy wildflower seeds and plant them with some children?

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has information about choosing and growing wildflowers.

Growing With Science has related activities and information about wildflowers

Reading level: Ages 5 and up
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (November 6, 1985)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0140505393
ISBN-13: 978-0140505399

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