Come Back, Amelia Bedelia
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Amelia Bedelia's predicaments keep children engaged in the story. Serviceable art works with the unembellished text to make the points clear.
What's the story?
When Mrs. Rogers summons her maid, Amelia Bedelia, and requests cereal and coffee, Amelia complies literally by bringing her a cupful of both, which prompts her flustered employer to tell Amelia to go away. Amelia doesn't understand what she did wrong, but she does as she is told--and leaves the house.
She responds to a "Help Wanted" sign in a beauty-shop window, is hired, and is told to pin up a customer's hair. Much to the dismay of her employer and the patron, Amelia uses safety pins, and she is again told to go away.
Similar events unfold until she is finally instructed to go home, which, of course, she does. There, Mrs. Rogers apologizes and all is well again. The book ends as Mr. Rogers requests that she heat a can of soup. True to form, not having learned her lesson, Amelia begins heating the can.
Is it any good?
COME BACK, AMELIA BEDELIA combines humor with simple language principles to create an entertaining learning experience. Like other books in this series, there isn't much story, and the writing sometimes strains to stay within the limited vocabulary of an easy-reader. But children find it entertaining, and the simple writing style makes this a good choice for early readers.
Reading about Amelia Bedelia's constant struggles with words can be helpful for school-age children who have difficulty mastering reading and language concepts. Seeing that following instructions is hard for an adult helps them relate to the character. The simple illustrations focus on Amelia's misguided actions, encouraging children to use their reasoning skills in interaction with the text. Younger children may be concerned that Amelia is banished after she makes a mistake, but by the end of the book she is comfortably back in her home.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about idioms and metaphors. Come up with some expressions that seem silly if taken literally. Families can also discuss misunderstanding instructions. Kids: What should you do if someone gives you instructions that don't make sense to you?