Chapter Book Review: Amelia Bedelia Means Business


Author: Herman Parish

Illustrator: Lynne Avril

Age Range: 6 – 10 years

Grade Level: 1 – 5

Series: Amelia Bedelia (Book 1)

Paperback: 160 pages

Publisher: Greenwillow Books (January 29, 2013)

Genre: Chapter book/ humor

Source: Bought

My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

About the Book:

With Amelia Bedelia, anything can happen!

Bedelia wants a new bike—a shiny, fast one just like Suzanne’s. Amelia
Bedelia’s mom says that a bike like that is expensive and will cost an
arm and a leg. Amelia Bedelia can’t give away one of her arms and one of
her legs! She needs both arms to steer, and both legs to pedal. What
Amelia Bedelia needs is a job.

Look out! Here comes Amelia Bedelia, and she means business!

About the Author:

 Herman Parish is the author of
Amelia Bedelia children’s book series, nephew of original author, Peggy
Parish. Having grown up with his aunt’s tales of Amelia’s humorous
misadventures, Herman decided to carry on the legacy after his aunt’s
death in 1988. He did not wish to entrust the future of the series into
the hands of a children’s author outside of the family. Since Peggy had
the summers off from teaching, she was able to stay with the Parish
family for extended periods of time, allowing Herman and Peggy to
develop a close relationship. More importantly, this gave Herman a
chance to keenly observe Peggy during her writing processes, gaining
great insight to the road ahead of him. To carry on the essence of the
series, Herman thoroughly examined his aunt’s work and did his best to
capture what exactly made the character of Amelia Bedelia such a hit.
Having editor Susan Hirschman and illustrator Lynn Sweat in common with
his aunt helped to make the transition. He has added thirteen more books
to the series. Herman is a resident of Princeton, New Jersey, and
travels to libraries and schools across the United States, speaking and
inspiring young children. The importance of revising and editing is
often stressed during these dynamic lectures. He has presented to
students in more than 22 states.

About the Illustrator:

Although I was born and grew up in Montana, I’ve spent so many years in Arizona, I feel like a native. I grew up with an artist dad and have followed that path all my life. I graduated from the art school at the University of Montana in Missoula. After years of freelancing as a graphic artist, I fell into illustrating children’s books…have done almost 80 now and also a lot of magazine work. My books have been selected for awards by the American Library Association (the Schneider Family Book Award 2011), the Junior Library Guild, the Society of School Librarians International, the Children’s Book Council, and the Oppenheimer Toy Portfolio. Many of my illustrations are rendered in gouache, with a black ink or pencil line, but sometimes I use a softer style with chalk pastels and acrylic medium.


My Thoughts:

I’ve never read the picture books, and this is the first Amelia Bedelia
chapter book that I’ve read with my kids. It was cute, and even funny at
times. Amelia Bedelia wants a new bike, so she goes through a string of
jobs and business ventures to save up enough money for one.

She constantly misinterprets every day sayings like “step on it” and
“it’s on the house” which provides the source for much of the humor in
the book. The only problem with this is that I’m not sure how many kids
that age would understand the jokes. A lot of the writing and vocabulary
was over the comprehension level of most kids in the target age group.

While the book was cute, it didn’t really do it for me. It wasn’t
horrible, but it wasn’t fantastic, either. This one falls into the
middle for me.


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  • Reply
    November 15, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    I loved the Amelia Bedelia books when I was younger! The ones I read were about an older Amelia who was a maid. I think I was in elementary school and at least a few years older than your girls, but you should rent some of those from the library and see if you like them 🙂

  • Reply
    Born Bookish
    November 20, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    I used to love the Amelia Bedelia picture books when I was little. I'm shocked to see that someone is continuing with the character, because it looks/sounds nothing like the originals =/

    • Reply
      November 21, 2013 at 4:01 am

      I've never read the original picture books, but maybe I'll hunt those down since everyone seems to love them.

  • Reply
    Tressa S
    November 21, 2013 at 2:50 am

    Ha! I grew up with Amelia Bedelia, but it is true what you said about some thing being over kids' heads. My kids were just looking at one of her books a few weeks ago and my daughter, who is 7, was asking what something meant and why Amelia Bedelia was doing what she was. I hadn't seen these newer versions. Thanks for the review!

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