Miss Rumphius
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Miss Rumphius

4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  13,411 ratings  ·  472 reviews
A beloved classic—written by a beloved Caldecott winner—is lovelier than ever!

Barbara Cooney's story of Alice Rumphius, who longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, has a timeless quality that resonates with each new generation. The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published November 6th 1985 by Puffin (first published November 8th 1981)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Miss Rumphius, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Miss Rumphius

The Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgAnimalia by Graeme BaseThe Mitten by Jan BrettStellaluna by Janell CannonSong for Papa Crow by Marit Menzin
Children's Picture Books With Beautiful illustrations
11th out of 960 books — 814 voters
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Best Children's Books
194th out of 3,046 books — 4,500 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Dolly
Jan 25, 2009 Dolly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Nicely illustrated story with a wonderful message. A young girl tells her grandfather that she wants to go to faraway places and when she grows up, to live beside the sea. Her grandfather's reply:

"That is all very well, little Alice," said her grandfather, "but there is a third thing you must do."

"What is that?" asked Alice.

"You must do something to make the world more beautiful," said her grandfather.

The young girl grows up and follows his advice, accomplishing all that she set out to do. An...more
Jenna
My mother read me this story when I was a child and it greatly impacted and inspired me. I carry this story with me-and intend to read it to my kids. It reminds me of Maine and my favorite flower as well-and it reminds me that even the smalled action can make the world a little better!
Lisa Vegan
Jul 07, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy beautifully illustrated picture books
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
Thanks to Goodreads friend Abigail who recommended I might continue considering giving this book a try, despite her rather lukewarm response to it and (perfectly valid) criticisms of it. I have an additional criticism to the ones Abigail listed, but its minor, very minor, and doesn’t detract from the wonderful illustrations, which for me are the heart of the book. I’d have been happy had this been a wordless picture book!

The illustrations are incredibly lovely. They’re all beautiful. I love illu...more
Anastasia
When I read this story for the first time, Miss Rumphius reminded me of my grandmother, who was then an older lady still making time to travel the world and see Egypt and other places that to me sounded mystical and exotic. She kept her own garden in the yard of her little house in Florida, and while her flowers were nothing like those in the story of Miss Rumphius they added a small touch of beauty to the place. The artwork in this story is itself a work towards adding beauty to the world: the...more
Rebekah
May 26, 2008 Rebekah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the world
My favorite childrens' book - with a lot to teach adults too. This gorgeous book tells the story of one person's quest to make the world a better place and teaches that everyone can do something, no matter how small, to improve life for everyone else. Plus I like to think it's set in Maine, which makes it even better. Please read this book, go forth and do something to make the world a better place. Even if you do not know yet what that thing might be.
Miriam
Feb 10, 2009 Miriam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: quiet children
Shelves: picture
I am giving this 4 stars mostly for Ms. Cooney's lovely illustrations. The story was pretty but not engrossing, and many children in the picture-bok age group may be too restless for the rather passive account.
Ruth
One of my all-time favorite children's books. Delightful to read aloud, as well.
Brenda
This is a children's book, but it really represents a lovely philosophy. Young Alice is told that there are three things she must do in her life:
1) She must travel to far away places.
2) She must live by the sea.
3) She must make the world more beautiful in some way.

She travels a bunch and then settles in a little house by the sea. She wonders how to make the world more beautiful and ends up growing lots and lots of pretty flowers.

I have traveled a lot and will travel more. I don't know if I wi...more
Karey
Even as a parent reading this over and over to my children while we lived in Vermont, I was so effected by the notion that the seeds we sow are enjoyed by others far beyond our ability to comprehend, that I planted lupine seeds in our garden just to remember that small truth. Lupines don't grow here in Utah like they do back East. I miss the East coast. Sniff.
cat
i will always remember the first time i read this and i thought "i also want a house by the sea, and adventures, and to do something useful and good" and i am almost, kinda, sorta there :) such a good book for children and adults and pretty much everyone...
Mikejencostanzo
Alice Rumphius lived with her grandfather. She wanted to grow up to be just like him -- travel, live by the sea. He said she had to do one more thing -- "You must do something to make the world more beautiful." Throughout the course of the story, Alice grows up, travels, and moves by the sea. Still discouraged about her third life purpose, Miss Rumphius finally finds her own way to make the world more beautiful and to pass along the message of her grandfather.

This is a beautiful book. Miss Rumph...more
Erin
Sep 29, 2008 Erin rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: lis565
Category: Picture Book, American Book Award Winner
Audience: Ages 4-8
Brief Description: Miss Rumphius travels and strives to make the world a better place right on her own doorstep.

The beginning of this story did not pull me in immeidately. It starts out fairly wordy and my initial thought was that this isn’t something that would intrigue a child. However, after the first couple of pages when Miss Rumphius begins to explore and travel the reader becomes more intrigued with the story. Additionally...more
Sarah
I want to give this 4.5 or almost 5 stars... BUT. It has this great life lesson, that we should do what we can to make the world a more "beautiful" place, and through her life, Miss Rumphius does all sorts of things that make the world better, happy, beautiful for others. However, I think it's a book that really needs a lot of discussion with the adult reader for little ones, because on the surface it seems to say "make the world pretty" and doesn't explicitly acknowledge that Miss Rumphius's ex...more
Randie
Before she was known as Miss Rumphius, Alice lived by the sea and spent time with her grandfather. She always wanted to travel and shared this with her grandfather. He encouraged her to do so but also challenged her to make the world a more beautiful place. At first, she did not know how she would accomplish this but she does. After Alice has grown up, traveled the world, and made the world more beautiful she takes on the same mentor role as her grandfather did for her and offers the same challe...more
Philitsa
I love this book, for myself and my kids. The main character resolves to spend her life traveling the world, settling down in a house by the sea, and making the world a more beautiful place. Those ideas were instilled in her by her grandfather, who did the same. When she gets old, she passes that down to other little kids.

So many kids' books focus on a little kid adventuring and don't highlight the importance of inter-generational relationships. Those are important in life, and is a focus of th...more
Kelly Borton
Miss Rumphius is a book with realistic settings and characters that readers can identify with. It is narrated by a niece about her Great Aunt Alice and her life. Alice is a small girl living with her grandfather and wants to fulfill her life by accomplishing three things; to travel the world, to retire by the sea, and to make the world a beautiful place. This third goal was a request of her grandfathers. Alice grows up and moves to the city, travels to far away places, and settles by the sea. Al...more
Abi
I loved this book, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. However, it's hard to still give it 5-stars now that I know lupines are invasive species and considered weeds in many countries. That rather interferes with my enjoyment.

So, if you read it with your child, perhaps pair it with a lesson on invasive/native species! What NATIVE species would your child plant to beautify the world? Also, of course, we can still brainstorm other ways to make the world more beautiful...
Mary E R
I loved the message of making the world a more beautiful place. The goal of aesthetics sometimes seems to take a back seat to productivity and profit. I think this is a valuable lesson for children. As a avid gardener, I also like the description of hope and waiting through the winter for the beauty of spring. Miss Rumphius sows seeds that help beauty to spread throughout the book and beyond.
Rosa Cline
This started out kind of slow as I read it to my 2 year old granddaughter. But the idea is a wonderful one... It did pick up and expand on the author's idea.

Starts out with a young girl helping her Grandpa in his wood shop and she tells him what she wants to do in life and he tells her that she can do all that but she also needs to do one thing and that is leave the world a more prettier place. She grows up and does all the traveling she wanted to do and made friends all over the world. She com...more
Heather
Miss Rumphius is a book about a very cool lady. She does great stuff and brings beauty into the world. This is the kind of book that grownups buy and read and think is great but it's not really for kids. Or it's for a very certain type of kid...hmmm. I'll have to think on it. But the illustrations are top notch by Barbara Cooney, as is the story, but it's more of a lesson than a story.
Emily
Miss Rumphius is a book about a woman named Alice Rumphius who traveled the world and made it a more beautiful place. When she was young her grandfather told her stories of his travels and made figureheads for ships. She wanted to travel the world like him and when she grew up she did exactly that. She went to the tropics, climbed mountains and went to the jungle and desert before hurting her back getting off a camel. After hurting herself she decided to settle down and find a home by the water....more
Barbara
I typically only rate the books I love, so most of my ratings on this site for pre-school/young readers will be 5-star reviews. Miss Rumphius is a fabulous book and all around great life lesson on how everyone can make the world a more beautiful place. I want to plant Lupines in my garden as a reminder!
Whitney
I can't believe I haven't added this to my bookshelf yet - this is literally my favorite children's picture book ever. This book is the reason I want to grow up to be a librarian and eventually live by the sea.
Melissa
I loved this story as a child and have read it many times to my daughter. Very beautiful and inspirational message that everyone should try to live by.
Mckinley
A new heroine! An aunt and a one time librarian and a gardener. All with an inspiring message.
Becky
Adorable story of the Lupine Lady and making the world a more beautiful place.
Monica


Thank you Philitsa! Loved the book.
Rachael
Miss Rumphius written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney 1982, Picture Book

The story of the lupine lady is told by Alice Rumphius’s Great Niece. Alice grew up in a small town helping paint in her grandfather’s studio. Alice’s grandfather tells her the most important thing for her to accomplish is to help make the world a more beautiful place. Alice travels all around the world experiencing many exciting adventures and meeting interesting people. Finally Alice, now known as Miss Rumphius, retires...more
Maricor
Miss Rumphius.
Cooney, Barbara (author).
Nov. 1982. 32p. illus. Viking, hardcover, $13.95 (0670479586). Ages 4-8.
REVIEW. First published March 7, 2011 (Akibird).

As a winner of the American Book Award and New York Times’ Best Book of the Year, Miss Rumphius is the beautiful tale of Alice, who longs to be like her grandfather by traveling the world and growing old by the sea. However, her grandfather encourages her to accomplish a third task: make the world more beautiful. Exemplifying her tradem...more
Nancy
The Lupine Lady was not always an old woman, a long time ago, she was a young girl named Alice. She loved spending time with her grandfather, an artist, and in the evenings he would tell her stories of is travels and faraway places.

Alice dreamed of living by the sea and traveling to distant places, but her dear grandfather told her that there was a third thing that she must do. Alice must also make the world a more beautiful place.

That is quite an undertaking for a young girl, but as she grew,...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
MCC Children's Li...: Miss Rumphius - Challice 1 1 Apr 04, 2012 07:39PM  
Book Club/Troubles: Miss Rumphius 2 4 Oct 02, 2011 09:54AM  
  • Roxaboxen
  • One Morning in Maine
  • The Gardener
  • The Quiltmaker's Gift
  • Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
  • Ox-Cart Man
  • The Rag Coat
  • Grandfather Twilight
  • When I Was Young in the Mountains
  • The Keeping Quilt
  • A New Coat for Anna
  • Story of Little Babaji
  • Cranberry Thanksgiving
  • Imogene's Antlers
  • Katy and the Big Snow
  • Brave Irene (Sunburst Books)
  • Mirette on the High Wire
  • The Curious Garden
Chanticleer and the Fox Eleanor Hattie and the Wild Waves: A Story From Brooklyn Island Boy Only Opal

Share This Book