Friday, January 9, 2015

#CBR7 Review #02: Amelia Bedelia 50th Anniversary Library by Peggy Parish

Oh Amelia Bedelia. She can either be seen as the most terrifying character ever due to the way she takes things so literally, or as a reminder that not everyone understands things in the same way, and sometimes we need to adjust or learn to communicate in new ways in order to facilitate different ways of thinking/people and how they are. In fact, at the end of the first Amelia Bedelia book, her employer Mr. Rogers makes a point of saying he will learn to say things in new ways for her to better understand and so that Amelia can keep working for him. Because what Amelia does well, she does VERY well, and it’s clear she is always just trying to please everyone as best as she can, even if she doesn’t always get what she’s doing or why.

The 50th anniversary library contains three Amelia Bedelia stories. The first is “Amelia Bedelia,” the original story written about the literal-minded housekeeper on her first day working for the Rogers. The collection also includes two of Peggy Parish’s most popular stories of Amelia, which are, “Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia,” about her helping the local boys’ baseball team when they are down a member, and “Amelia Bedelia and the Surprise Shower” about Mrs. Rogers throwing a wedding shower for one of her friends. In the latter story, the children present especially enjoy Amelia and her nature, and there is a sense that even though things do not go according to plan for the shower, maybe it’s sometimes better for things to go unexpectedly, as people may have more fun and excitement in the process.

In any case, I can see why children would enjoy these stories. I myself still enjoyed them quite a bit now, too! And now I finally understand what my mother means when she refers to my sister and I as Amelia Bedelia when we sometimes do silly things or misinterpret one another. It’s been so long since I had heard one of these stories, I had forgotten! I might even look up and read a few more now, just for fun.

[Be sure to visit the Cannonball Read main site!]

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