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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.