A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know there is nothing of concern in this light book. While this is about Amelia’s first day of school, it may not be a good choice for kids who haven’t yet been to class -- the word games might confuse them rather than help them learn what to expect. Students who are well past first-day jitters will appreciate Amelia’s mix-ups more.
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What's the story?
Amelia Bedelia, whose literal-minded mistakes have delighted kids since the 1960s, gets her first feature as a child in this book by the nephew of Amelia creator Peggy Parish. Amelia cheerfully plows through her first day of school, misunderstanding roll call as a game of tag, starting a new jump rope craze, and literally gluing herself to her chair.
Is it any good?
Kids who are already confident in handling the school routine will be amused by Amelia Bedelia’s silly misunderstandings in this trifle of a book. Fans of the Amelia Bedelia series will enjoy seeing her as a bright-eyed, enthusiastic student.
Some of the wordplay, focused on homophones, idioms, and the like, might go right over the heads of younger readers. But kids who already know how school works can relate to her blunders. And the attitude here is unrelentingly positive. Her classmates laugh with her, not at her, and often delight in the fun -- as in when Amelia thinks “jumping rope” means hopping over a rope on the ground. It’s harmless fun, but not especially interesting.
Cheerful, bright cartoons fit Amelia’s enthusiasm.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about misunderstandings. Have you ever been confused about what something meant? How did you clear up your confusion?
Amelia Bedelia gets confused by things like homophones, words that sound the same but mean different things -- such as here and hear. Come up with some other examples of homophones.
Amelia Bedelia also struggles with idioms, expressions whose meanings aren't always obvious -- such as when the cafeteria server tells Amelia "I hope your eyes aren't bigger than your stomach." Can you think of other idioms?
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