by Herman Parish, published 2013
“You can’t pick flowers in the park. They’re for everyone who lives here to enjoy!” the policeman said. “I live here,” said Amelia Bedelia. “So does my mom. I picked these for her.”
It’s been a while since I’ve looked at an Amelia Bedelia children’s book, so when I saw this new one in the library, I checked it out. And immediately, I remembered why I enjoyed Amelia Bedelia. As a way of teaching language, and actually learning to navigate the world. this series is innocently perfect. Amelia Bedelia simply takes every word literally, and is completely confused by ‘homophones’, words that sound the same but have different meaning. For children struggling with the English language, especially if they are second language learners, words can be confusing. And no one demonstrates this better than Amelia.
These children’s books have been around for a while, and the current series is written by the nephew of the original author. However, they hold the same appeal, just update to reflect today’s culture. They’re fun, they’re light, they’re innocent, and they make really good early readers for young children learning to read on their own. When I compare them to other books in a similar ‘realistic’ genre, such as Judy Moody, I really prefer Amelia. She’s not moody or mean, just a little clumsy in the way she navigates the world.
There are minor good lessons in these children’s books, but mostly, they are fun, easy reads that I am happy to recommend. There are at least three others in this series called chapter books, directed at younger readers, six and up.