by Barbara Cooney, published 1982
“There is still one more thing I have to do,” she said, “I have to do something to make the world more beautiful. But what?”
One of the reasons I don’t review many illustrated books on this website is that often, it is primarily the images and not the story that makes it a good children’s book. How wonderful to find an illustrated children’s book where the story itself is as important as the pictures.
We follow Miss Rumphius from her grandfather’s knee, through her travels, to sitting around the fire with her own grand-neices and nephews. And although nothing special really happens, everything reminds one of the magic and beauty of simple actions. The world is indeed a beautiful place, and each of us also has the capacity to make it even more beautiful.
For some reason, each time I’ve re-read this book, I felt that perhaps it was describing a real person, because it seems so lifelike and true. However, I find no indication that this is the case.
This is a lovely children’s book for a grandparent to read to a grandchild. And I thank my dear friend Sujata for giving me this gift of this book, which I may never have come across otherwise.