Amelia Bedelia Means Business Book Poster Image

Amelia Bedelia Means Business



Chapter-book version of young Amelia is vulnerable, funny.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Like the Amelia Bedelia early reader books, the first Amelia Bedelia chapter book teaches kids to think about the different ways certain words and common turns of phrase are used, such as the fact that "tart" can be a dessert or a sweet-and-sour flavor, and "step on it" sometimes means "hurry up." Kids will also learn how to make lemonade.

Positive messages

In this chapter book, Amelia Bedelia teaches children that there are ways kids can earn money. As in all of the Amelia Bedelia books, she also shows that everyone makes mistakes, but everyone is good at something; be creative and keep trying, and you will find your own hidden talents.

Positive role models

Amelia Bedelia's parents teach their little girl to be responsible and to understand the value of money by insisting that, if she wants a new bike, she needs to earn half of the price. They are also kind,  supportive and patient with Amelia's perpetual misinterpretation of things they say.

Violence & scariness

Amelia Bedelia and another bike-riding girl collide as they ride through the park; each of them comes away with a small cut.

Not applicable

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.

Families can talk 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?

Book details

Author:Herman Parish
Illustrator:Lynne Avril
Topics:Book characters, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Greenwillow Books
Publication date:January 29, 2013
Number of pages:149
Publisher's recommended age(s):6 - 10
Available on:Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

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