Literal Amelia Bedelia

Amelia Bedelia Chapter Book #2: Amelia Bedelia Unleashed

By Herman Parish, Illustrated by Lynne Avril


Publisher: Greenwillow Books (January 29, 2013)

Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

Available in: paperback, hardcover, Kindle, NOOK, libraries everywhere

At the time of this review, there were three Amelia Bedelia Chapter Books available and one due to publish in March 2014.



That’s the key to the slapstick, vaudeville-esque humor that touches every page of the energetic Amelia Bedelia. It’s great fun to really stop and think how so many common phrases mean more than what we’ve come to expect. And for kids just learning language, it’s a word game well worth playing.

Raining cats and dogs? Amelia Bedelia must stop and think about a St. Bernard falling out of the sky and bonking her on the head. Blind date? Amelia Bedelia visualizes two people blind-folded. And on and on.

Add to that wordplay the fun rhythm—even her name is a carousel ride of up and down that is never said in less than its whole. Also a hit is the snappy sentence structure and a repetition that gives kids the time to feel comfortable with comprehension.

This book also collars dog lovers with a focus on choosing a new pet. There are fun romps in the park, a disastrous grooming and a real Best in Show dog found at the pound.

Our longtime friend Amelia Bedelia comes to the focused world of chapter books through the invention of a nice family tradition: first created by Peggy Parish, Amelia Bedelia has been continued by Ms. Parish’s nephew and this series author, Herman Parish.

Lynne Avril’s illustrations, listed in the book as gouache and black pencil, add a light whimsy well suited to the offbeat feel of the book. Especially fun are the use of text through illustration. (Okay, I admit it, I had to look up gouache: for anyone else who didn’t know, it’s opaque watercolors.)

What do you say teachers, parents and writers? Use the comment below and let’s chat….