Saturday, May 17, 2008

Miss Rumphius & "When the Library Lights Go Out"

On the wonderous Katherine Tillotson (seen at right, on the right hand side of the additionally perfectly wonderous Peter Sis, who wrote 
"The Wall," and if you don't have THAT you should get it right this very second, and then come back here...)  

I have been in love with Barbara Cooney's splendid masterpiece, "Miss Rumphius," since I worked at the marvelous, magical Hicklebee's Bookstore (in little Willow Glen, on Lincoln Avenue, in San Jose, California).  

Valerie Lewis and Monica Holmes and Jan Gottlieb are responsible for that (Hicklebee's and "Miss Rumphius").

Miss Rumphius spends a good deal of her life making the world a more beautiful place.  {She does an exceedingly good job of doing so.}  

She made me love lupines (and want to live on the coast of Maine). dear and honored friend Katherine Tillotson (a magnificent illustrator, herself)...just between you and I, it must be said: I think she is really Miss Rumphius, come to life.  

Miss Katherine would throw back her lovely head and softly laugh at this notion, but I think it is true.  She is the gentlest of souls, and has the most exquisite way of approaching life and friendships and children and flowers and everything else that matters, as these things matter that matter most of all.

{Do you want to know how I know the undeniable proof about the "Miss Rumphius" part?  Katherine has the green coat, and the very exactly the same hair, and her eyes are just perfectly like the Lupine Lady's.  It is an irrefutable factiod, to be sure:  I promise you.}  

So, there you have it, Miss Rumphius is alive and well and living in San Francisco and illustrating books.  And the world is much more beautiful for it.