Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Cooney’


Two Songs and One Story

July 17, 2020

A light touch with meaning

In 1985 Barbara Cooney wrote the children’s book Miss Rumphius and interwoven through the book is the simple message: “do something to make the world more beautiful.” 

Last month in the DownEast magazine Virginia M. Wright wrote the article Why We Love Miss Rumphius Now More Than EverThe message is one that all Maine citizens can relate to as we drive anywhere in Maine these days and see the lupines growing. It’s an amazing site to behold and a chance to pause and consider ~what am I doing to make the world a more beautiful place? 

I sat next to Barbara Cooney on a plane in 1990. As the article says: Barbara Cooney didn’t care for sugary tales. “It does not hurt [children] to read about good and evil, love and hate, life and death,” the author and illustrator said in her 1959 Caldecott Award acceptance speech. “Nor do I think they should read only about things that they understand. … A man’s reach should exceed his grasp. So should a child’s. I will never talk down to — or draw down to — children.”

We have an opportunity as educators to read and learn and consider what action to take about what is going on in the world. If you’re looking for RESOURCES please check out the BLOG POST that is growing everyday with Social Justice resources.

Don’t Worry Be Happy

What the World Needs Now



June 13, 2019

Miss Rumphius

Many of you are familiar with the children’s book Miss Rumphius. Written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney, the story describes how lupines got their start and spread over our state. Since it is the time of year when the lupines are starting to bloom I was interested in the history of the beautiful flowers. It took me several years to grow them. I tried new seeds, collected seeds from other lupines, friends gave me them from their lands, I bought plants from plant sales and new plants from several different garden stores. Finally they took hold and now I am mowing less of my lawn so the little plants can spread and spread. I do love them!

Perhaps you use the story as part of a lesson. My favorite part of the book is when Miss Rumphius tells her niece “You must do something to make the world more beautiful. ” You can read the real story from the New England Historical Society.

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