Stuff We Like: Happy Birthday, Amelia Bedelia!
Amelia Bedelia, that lovable mishap-magnet of a maid, is celebrating her 50th birthday this month. As the star of more than 3o books, she continues to charm young readers with her literal-minded misinterpretations and positive, can-do attitude, which began earning her fans in 1963.
Author Peggy Parish was inspired to create that first book about Amelia Bedelia by the students in her third-grade classroom at the Dalton School in Manhattan and their sometimes hilarious vocabulary mix-ups. Parish wrote 12 Amelia Bedelia books before her death in 1988, and the series was revived in 1995 by her nephew, Herman Parish, who lives in Princeton, New Jersey. Since then, Herman has published 16 books about the adult Amelia and five picture books starring the character as a young girl.
In honor of Amelia’s golden anniversary, a slew of new Bedelia books will be released on Jan. 29:
Two editions of the original Amelia Bedelia will be reissued, giving kids the chance to meet Amelia on her first day of work for Mrs. Rogers, when she hangs the light bulbs on the clothesline, dresses a chicken
in overalls, and bakes a perfect lemon meringue pie. Amelia Bedelia was first published as a picture book, and a special anniversary picture book edition ($14.99) re-creates the original, with the original jacket art and two-color interior artwork. Seven full-color pages of archival photographs and information about the creation of Amelia Bedelia are included.
In addition, the I Can Read paperback version (Level 2, for ages 4-8; $3.99) will be refreshed with a celebratory foil cover.
For the first time in the series’ 50 years, an Amelia Bedelia chapter book series is launching, featuring the beloved character as a young girl. The first two chapter books, Amelia Bedelia Means Business (about Amelia’s quest for a shiny new bike) and Amelia Bedelia Unleashed (about her quest to find the perfect puppy) are geared toward a new generation of young readers ages 6-10 ($4.99 each).
Amelia Goes Digital