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Miss Rumphius
Miss Rumphius
by Barbara Cooney

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.
Age: 5 Year-olds | Title: Miss Rumphius  |  Author: Barbara Cooney  |  Publisher: Viking Press
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.

A wonderful story that shows children, especially little girls, that they can do whatever their heart desires and they don't have to form into the molds that society has set for them. Following the life of Miss Rumphius from childhood when she was known simply as Alice to the elderly Miss Rumphius, the book covers the many adventures she had as an adult, including trips to tropical islands, jungles, deserts and mountains, before settling down in a seaside village. The slightly-longer length of the picture book makes this story great for older children while the beautiful illustrations of world travels opens the reader up to different cultures.

The main moral of the story is to do something in your life that makes the world a better place and that, in itself, is a wonderful lesson to instill in today's children. Ask your child what they could do to improve the world and you may be surprised by their answers. Meanwhile, the free-spirited nature of Miss Rumphius encourages children to follow their dreams, no matter how far-fetched.

I think this book has a great message for children and adults alike, thanks to the two simple reminders of following your dreams and helping to make the world a better place. I read this story to Ava, a five-year-old that I babysit and we talked about the possibilities of things she wants to do to fill those criteria, both now and in the future. Children's goals are constantly changing but it's nice to get them talking about the topic nonetheless. For an even more memorable experience, we recorded what her dreams are today so that she can look back on it in several years and compare what has changed.

--Abby

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