Miss Rumphius

We all know the feeling of being indifferent about something that everyone else seems to love.  A good example for me would be the movie "Avatar."  I have absolutely no desire to see the highest grossing movie of all-time.  All of my friends have raved about it, but no part of me wants to see a bunch of blue people fight a bunch of humans who are portrayed by a bunch of actors I could care less about.  As you'll see, Miss Rumphius is the "Avatar" of my son's bookshelf, minus the hundreds of millions of dollars in special effects. 

*The primary message revolves around making the world a more beautiful place, a lofty goal indeed
*Unlike most children's books, this story spans an entire lifetime instead of just a few minutes/days 
*The author gives us a look at different cultures and locales, broadening you child's worldview to see things he or she wouldn't experience everyday

*Though this book was written in 1982, I tend to think it was a no-no even then to glorify cigar store woodcarvings of Native Americans 
*While I'm all for families honoring the older generations by naming their children after relatives, in a book with two named characters I wouldn't have gone with Alice twice
*It seems Miss Rumphius comes from quite a lot of money to be able to afford all of these adventures and homes -- what about all of the kids reading this who don't share a similar pedigree

There's so much to like about this book from the writing, to the illustrations...all the way down to the small details that keep even the most adult of us involved in the story.  But, for some reason, it's just not one of my favorites.  So, can I truly award it a Buy if I wasn't really into it myself?  In a word: YES.  Sometimes in life you have to tip your hat to a job well done even if you don't benefit from it yourself.  

BUY / Borrow / Donate / Destroy

1 comment:

Jessica Leader said...

You like the boring Miss Rumphius while you have mixed feelings about Pigeon? Gah! Gah! Injustice!