A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Amelia Bedelia Means Business is the first-ever chapter book about Amelia Bedelia, the character originated by Peggy Parish in learning-to-read books in 1963 and continued by her nephew, Herman Parish, starting in 1995. In 2009, Herman began to write about the childhood of the beloved adult housekeeper character who amuses readers by taking instructions like "dress the chicken" or "draw the drapes" literally. Young Amelia keeps her parents on their toes (figuratively) by misapprehending what grown-ups mean when they say things like "I'm putting my foot down" or "step on it." Other than a few minor disappointments (it turns out Amelia's boss didn't want her to step on his customer's pie) and an uneventful bicycle collision, Amelia Bedelia -- at any age -- is pure fun and clever wordplay for kids.
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What's the story?
Young Amelia Bedelia is happy with her own bike until she sees her classmate Kaite-Lynne cruise up on a sparkling new, green model. From that moment, Amelia's heart is set on a shiny new bike, but her parents say they will only \"meet her halfway\"; she must earn half of the money for the bike on her own. Hilarity ensues as the little girl -- age about 8 -- tries her hand at different jobs. As a helper in a diner, she lasts less than a day. She opens a lemonade stand with a sign declaring \"Lots of Lemons\" next to a car lot. But like the grown-up Amelia in the original early-reader books, young Amelia Bedelia bakes a mean lemon tart, and people can forgive a lot when lemon tarts are on the table.
Is it any good?
Creating a chapter-book series about Amelia Bedelia is a nice idea, and on the whole the lovable, literal character is still amusing. However, as a child and within the larger framework of a chapter book, the Amelia of AMELIA BEDELIA MEANS BUSINESS becomes a more developed character, so when she gets in trouble for making a mistake, readers feel sympathy as well as amusement. In other words, it's harder to laugh at a little girl who gets fired from her first job for literally stepping on it (pie) than it is to laugh at an adult housekeeper who foolishly "trims the steak" like a Christmas tree. It's also just plain funnier for an adult to make those mistakes than it is for a kid to make them.
Talk to your kids about ...
Which one of Amelia Bedelia's jobs seems like the most fun -- helping in a diner, selling lemonade, or baking tarts? Which job do you think you would be good at?
Did you read the first Amelia Bedelia book? How does this one compare? What do the two books have in common?
Make kup your own Amelia Bedelia book. Can you think of phrases that would be funny for her to misunderstand?
- Author: Herman Parish
- Illustrator: Lynne Avril
- Genre: Humor
- Topics: Book Characters, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Greenwillow Books
- Publication date: January 29, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 6 - 10
- Number of pages: 149
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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