The Books

Miss Rumphius

by Barbara Cooney
Illustrated by Barbara Cooney

One Potato Review

Here is a story also written by the classic illustrator of more than one hundred other books. A little girl living in a busy port city dreams of traveling to faraway places. Which she does – to a tropical island, to jungles, to snowy mountains – and remains single, and happy (“almost perfectly”), before finally retiring to a seaside village where she takes to scattering the seeds of blue and purple lupines, and setting an example for the neighboring children “to make the world more beautiful.” The Lupine Lady they call her, with no idea of the places she’s been, but they are attentive. This may sound overly reverential on the surface, and even old-fashioned, but Cooney tells this story - as always panoramically illustrated – without a hint of the sort of breathlessness that might have hinted at some Larger Meaning. Sprightly and self-sufficient, like the life that informs it.

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