This is one of those rare picture books that is so beautiful and so wise that you ought to read it even if you don't have children. But if you have a child to share it with, do so immediately, and consider yourself privileged.
In this book, you watch a little girl named Alice grow into an old, old woman, a retired librarian, named Miss Rumphius. Her life is filled with exciting adventures, but as she grows older, none of it feels like enough to her. She keeps recalling some advice her grandfather gave her when she was a child. He told her that in order to live a good life, she had to "do something to make the world more beautiful." But even as an old woman, she can't figure out what to do. Finally, realizing the joy she's always gotten from flowers, especially lupines, she decides to share that joy with others by scattering lupine seeds everywhere she goes. She completely transforms the rocky landscape around her home. In the end, she tells her story to her young niece, who wonders how SHE will make the world more beautiful. And so the cycle continues.
My daughter, who is six, has talked about this book several times, and told me she hasn't yet figured out how she is going to make the world more beautiful. But the fact that she is thinking about it at such a young age makes me proud, and very happy to have found this lovely book to share with her.
Reading level: Ages 4-8 Language: English ISBN-10: 0140505393 SBN-13: 978-0140505399 Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 9.8 x 0.1 inches