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Miss Rumphius

12 Mar

Today is National Plant a Flower Day.  Of course the first picture book that comes to mind is the timeless Miss Rumphius.

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This book tells the story of Alice Rumphius who had only three goals in life: to travel the world, to live in a house by the sea, and to do something to make the world more beautiful.  Barbara Cooney writes and illustrates this masterpiece.  Through words and pictures she tells the story of the real Miss Rumphius, Alice Rumphius the Lupine Lady, who travels and spreads lupine seeds everywhere she goes.  Because of her, the coast of Maine is now fragrant with lupines.  Miss Rumphius  won the American Book Award in 1985, and the artwork for this book is currently at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Maine.  Barbara Cooney has also won the Caldecott Award twice for her work Chanticleer and the Fox (1959) and The Ox Cart Man (1980).

Barbara Cooney was quoted in 1959,  from her acceptance speech for the Caldecott Medal, “I believe that children in this country need a more robust literary diet than they are getting. It does not hurt them to read about good and evil, love and hate, life and death.  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.  For myself, I will never talk down to – or draw down to- children.”

Of Miss Rumphius, Barbara Cooney said, “Miss Rumphius has been, perhaps, the closest to my heart.  There are, of course, many dissimilarities between me and Alice Rumphius, but, as I worked, she gradually seemed to become my alter ego.  Perhaps she had been that right from the start.”

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You can read more about Barbara Cooney here,

http://www.us.penguingroup.com/nf/Author/AuthorPage/0,,1000002642,00.html

http://www.childrensliteraturenetwork.org/birthbios/brthpage/08aug/8-6coony.html

http://www.mainecoastbookshop.com/barbaraCooney.php

September 14 – Miss America Day

11 Sep

Happy Miss America Day!

Today is Miss America Day. And, nothing against the Miss America beauty pagent, but I want to share some other famous Misses in children’s picture books.

Miss Nelson, Miss Bindergarten, Miss Rumphius, and Miss Spider just to name a few.

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Miss Nelson is Missing! written by Harry Allard and illustrated by James Marshall (1985)

The students in Room 207 were the worst behaved class in the whole school. Their teacher, Miss Nelson, tries everything she can think of to get control of her class. Finally, she calls on the help of the substitute teacher, Miss Viola Swamp, the meanest teacher ever. The kids had never worked harder in their lives. Days went by and the kids were frantic. They went to the police station looking for their teacher. They even went to Miss Nelson’s house… but they saw Miss Swamp coming around the corner. They worried that something terrible had happened to Miss Nelson. Finally, one day Miss Nelson returned to school. The students were so excited to have her back that they were extra well-behaved. And Miss Nelson was happy to be back as well. The kids (and the police) never really knew what had happened to Miss Nelson, but she hummed a little song as she took off her coat at home that night, and hung it up next to an ugly black dress.

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Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten written by Joseph Slate and illustrated by Ashley Wolff (2007)

Miss Bindergarten is a wonderful border collie who teaches twenty-six kindergarteners. As each of her kindergarteners gets ready for school, in alphabetical order, their teacher Miss Bindergarten prepares her classroom. Just as the last student finds his chair, Miss Bindergarten greets her class with a cheery “Good morning, kindergarten” and the fun begins!

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Miss Spider’s Tea Party written and illustrated by David Kirk (2007)

Miss Spider has a terrible time getting guests to stay for tea. Two timid beetles, three fireflies, and four bumblebees all ran away from Miss Spider. She did find five friendly faces, but they belonged to rubber bugs. Poor Miss Spider couldn’t entice six ants or seven butterflies to come for tea. She set out eight place settings, but no one came. Nine moths flew away and Miss Spider cried as she set down ten steaming cups of tea. And then she found one frightened moth whose wings were too wet to fly away. She served this little wet moth tea and pie until his wings dried and then helped him fly away. He told all the others about Miss Spider’s kindness and pretty soon her reputation spread. Before long every bug who crawled, or hopped, or flew stopped in for a visit and a cup of tea.

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Miss Rumphius written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney (1985)

Read the full review of the book and learn about the real Miss Rumphius HERE.

October 5 – World Teachers Day

2 Oct

Happy Teachers Day!

Some very well know teachers in children’s literature, Miss Bindergarten, Miss Nelson, Miss Viola Swamp, and Miss Rumphius were celebrated on Miss America day HERE.

Today, I have a few other pretty great picture books about what teachers do and what teachers can’t do. Check these out.

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Teachers and What They Do written and illustrated by Liesbet Slegers (2014)

This is a fun and easy way to look at teachers and learn more about what they do. The author compares what a teacher does with what the students do in lower and upper grades.

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What Teachers Can’t Do written by Douglas Wood and illustrated by Doug Cushman (2002)

This is a funny look at what teachers can’t do, including solve simple math problems,  read little words, or ride skateboards to school. They can’t buy their own apples or sit in little chairs. And they can’t see out of the backs of their heads, can they? That’s because they are so busy teaching you!

This is one of my new favorite picture books about teachers.

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MY TEACHER IS A MONSTER, NO I’M NOT! by Peter Brown

March 12 – National Plant a Flower Day

31 Mar

Today is National Plant a Flower Day. Of course the first picture book that comes to mind is the timeless Miss Rumphius.

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This book tells the story of Alice Rumphius who had only three goals in life: to travel the world, to live in a house by the sea, and to do something to make the world more beautiful. Barbara Cooney writes and illustrates this masterpiece. Through words and pictures she tells the story of the real Miss Rumphius, Alice Rumphius the Lupine Lady, who travels and spreads lupine seeds everywhere she goes. Because of her, the coast of Maine is now fragrant with lupines. Miss Rumphius won the American Book Award in 1985, and the artwork for this book is currently at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Maine. Barbara Cooney has also won the Caldecott Award twice for her work Chanticleer and the Fox (1959) and The Ox Cart Man (1980).

Barbara Cooney was quoted in 1959, from her acceptance speech for the Caldecott Medal, “I believe that children in this country need a more robust literary diet than they are getting. It does not hurt them to read about good and evil, love and hate, life and death. 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. For myself, I will never talk down to – or draw down to- children.”

Of Miss Rumphius, Barbara Cooney said, “Miss Rumphius has been, perhaps, the closest to my heart. There are, of course, many dissimilarities between me and Alice Rumphius, but, as I worked, she gradually seemed to become my alter ego. Perhaps she had been that right from the start.”

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You can read more about Barbara Cooney here,

http://www.us.penguingroup.com/nf/Author/AuthorPage/0,,1000002642,00.html

http://www.childrensliteraturenetwork.org/birthbios/brthpage/08aug/8-6coony.html

http://www.mainecoastbookshop.com/barbaraCooney.php


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