Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
This beautiful picture book tells of the life of the author’s Great-Aunt Alice, now called the Lupine Lady. When she was little, Alice told her grandfather that she wanted to do as he did: go to far away places and live in a house by the sea. He told her that was fine, but that she also must do something to make the world more beautiful. She promises she will.
In time, Miss Rumphius, as she is now called, accomplishes all she sets out to do. To make the world more beautiful, she spreads lupine seeds where ever she goes. It takes some time, but eventually, she sees the results of her efforts. In the spring, there were lupines everywhere! Miss Rumphius had accomplished the most difficult thing of all!
Earth Day is on April 22 (today!). Read this book with your children, and then discuss some way you can make the world more beautiful, just like Miss Rumphius. Pick up litter around your neighborhood or local park. Plant some flowers or a tree. Help your children learn about recycling. Simply make them aware of the beauty that surrounds them and help them learn that they can make a difference!
This year’s Earth Day Activity: So, yesterday my son came home from school talking about Earth Day. He had a great idea that I had to indulge. He wanted to go over to the park and pick up “recycling.” Honestly, I wasn’t feeling good, but he was so excited about his idea that I couldn’t turn him down. He got 3 garbage bags–one for me, one for him, and one for his sister. One of us was in charge of collecting paper; one of us was in charge of milk cartons; and one of us was in charge of cans. So, we ventured out into the windy, rainy weather to collect recyclable garbage and to clean up the park. The kids were so excited about it, and I have to admit that their excitement was contagious! We collected 3 bags full while enjoying nature. It was a good hour or so spent (and now all of our recyclables are in our recycling can ready for garbage day next week). Today, he went to school in earth-toned clothes in honor of Earth Day (his own idea). He is excited about the earth and life! Thank you to his wonderful Kindergarten teacher who not only teaches academics but real world application, as well!
I’d love to hear about your Earth Day projects! What are you doing to make the world more beautiful?!