Miss Rumphius

Miss Rumphius is a picture book for children written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney and first published by Viking Books in 1982. It features the life story of fictional Miss Alice Rumphius, a woman who sought a way to make the world more beautiful and found it in planting lupines in the wild. Miss Rumphius was inspired by the real life "Lupine Lady," Hilda Hamlin, who spread lupine seeds along the Maine coast, as well as Cooney's own experiences traveling the world.[1][2]

Miss Rumphius
Front cover of first edition
AuthorBarbara Cooney
IllustratorBarbara Cooney
CountryUnited States
GenrePicture book
PublisherViking Press
Publication date
November 1982
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Pages32 pp (first edition)
ISBN0-14-050539-3 (first edition)
[E] 19
LC ClassPZ7.C783 Mi 1985

Cooney and William Steig (Doctor De Soto) shared the 1983 National Book Award for Children's Books in category Picture Books, Hardcover.[3][a] Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."[4] In 2012 it was ranked number 13 among the "Top 100 Picture Books" in a survey published by School Library Journal.[5]


A film adaptation of Miss Rumphius was made by Spellbound Productions in 2000.[6] The film was directed by Sarah Kerruish and narrated by Claire Danes. It is available as a video in Spanish and English. The film is 18 minutes long.

The film won the UNICEF Prize at the 2002 Barcelona International TV and Video Festival as well as a Bronze Plaque at the 2001 Columbus International Film and Video Festival.

The Lupine Award of the Maine Library Association is named in honor of this book.[7]

Sources, references, external links, quotationsEdit

  • Ortakales, Denise. 2000–2002 Barbara Cooney [8]
Teaching resources based on the book
  • Fitzgerald, Alissa. Miss Rumphius. Philosophy for kids. Site accessed 26 October 2006.[9]
  • Frey, Carol and Jennifer Meier. ‘Be a Good Citizen with Miss Rumphius: A WebQuest for 2nd-3rd Grade’. Yorkville CUSD, 2001.[10]
  • Garthwait, Gail. ‘Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney’. Maine Samplers Part 1I. Maine Association of School Libraries. Site accessed 26 October 2006.[11]
  • Lovelett, Sandvoss, Schoenberg, and Stoll. Pre-reading activity. Last update 4, January, 2000.[12]
  • Liefer, Patricia. ‘Traveling with Miss Rumphius’. Promoting Geographic Knowledge through Literature Workshop, July 7–19, 2002.[13]
  • Milks, Cindy and Cheri Jeralds. ‘Teacher CyberGuide: Miss Rumphius’. San Diego County Office of Education, 1998.[14]
  • Miyoshi-Miller, Cathi. ‘Children’s book illustration: Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney’. 27 March 1999, last update 10 April 1999.[15]
  • Web English Teacher. Links to teaching resources based on Miss Rumphius. Last updated 17 October 2005.[16]
Other related websites
  • Information about the Miss Rumphius Award[17]
  • Interviews with the award winners [18]
  • Leu, Donald J. Jr., Rachel A. Karchmer and Deborah Diadiun Leu. The Miss Rumphius Effect: Envisionments for Literacy and Learning That Transform the Internet. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, United States, April 1999.[19]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Picture books were separately recognized for only two years in National Book Awards history, during four years when there were dual hardcover and paperback awards in many categories.


  1. ^ "How the Real Miss Rumphius Decorated Maine With Lupines". New England Historical Society. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  2. ^ Spano, Susan. "In the Footsteps of 'Miss Rumphius,' an Inspiration to Solo Women Travelers". Los Angeles Times (September 19, 1999). Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  3. ^ "National Book Awards – 1983". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
  4. ^ National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  5. ^ Bird, Elizabeth (July 6, 2012). "Top 100 Picture Books Poll Results". A Fuse #8 Production. Blog. School Library Journal (blog.schoollibraryjournal.com). Archived from the original on December 4, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ Lipson, Eden (15 March 2000). "Barbara Cooney, 83, Children's Book Creator". New York Times. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  8. ^ Denise Ortakales. "Women Children's Book Illustrators-Barbara Cooney (1917-2000)". Ortakales.com. Archived from the original on 2006-10-22. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  9. ^ "Philosophy For Kids". Philosophy For Kids. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  10. ^ "WebQuest". Yorkville.k12.il.us. Archived from the original on 2011-01-14. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  11. ^ [2] Archived September 29, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Reading Strategy: Miss Rumphius Anticipation Guide". Somers.k12.ny.us. Archived from the original on 2002-02-02. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  13. ^ [3] Archived September 6, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ [4] Archived April 27, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Miss Rumphius-Main Page". Scils.rutgers.edu. Archived from the original on 2002-01-03. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  16. ^ "Barbara Cooney @Web English Teacher". Webenglishteacher.com. 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  17. ^ "International Reading Association home page". Reading.org. Archived from the original on 2009-02-18. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  18. ^ "Interviews with Miss Rumphius Award Winners |". Wm.edu. Archived from the original on 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  19. ^ "Electronic Classroom: March 1999 Exploring Literacy Column from RT". Reading Online. Retrieved 2011-01-02.