OWTK KidLit + Comics

Kid’s Books: The Amelia Bedelia Reboot

Amelia Bedelia isn’t for everyone. The old “I Can Read” books from the early 60’s to the early 00’s feature the tall protagonist in period clothes, servant-attire more specifically, and the stories can be dreadfully elongated.  Still, there’s a good bit of fun in the taking-everything-literally Bedelia story arcs, it just takes some commitment.

If you’ve seen Amelia recently, you likely noticed that her and her books (now hardback) look very dissimilar to your mother’s Amelia.

A couple changes were made in the reboot that breathe new life into the classic character. Amazingly, author is not one of them!  Herman Parrish, nephew of Amelia’s creator Peggy Parrish and author of all the Bedelia books over the past 2 decades, is on board penning the new tales.  The most notable difference is that Amelia is now a young school age girl, ditching the maid getup for modern yet modest garb you’d find on hangers at your local Target or H&M.  This affords young readers and listeners an easier opportunity to relate.  And most pleasing about that is that she hasn’t become a big-headed, pencil-thin (okay, she could use a hearty meal), mini-skirt wearing floozy! I mean, have you seen some of the other relaunches?  Lynne Avril’s bright pictures of a perfectly realistic school-age girl and her environs will glue little eyes to the pages (no, Amelia, not really glue them).

Another big improvement is the length of the stories. I grumble every time I hear some adult complaining about young kids and their short attention spans, as if we adults don’t have a nasty hand to play in that; getting a little bored? Here, take the DS, iPhone, Leapfrog, mini DVD player, something…just occupy yourself! And quickly! Ugh.  That said, I don’t have a long enough attention span to deal with some of the original Bedelia collection. It was a chore reading them more than once to the Bear & Mouse.  These new volumes are snappier, shorter, and every bit as silly.  And still no sass or modern slang, thankfully.

Of course Amelia will still actually glue herself to her desk chair when her teacher tries to reign in her antsy-ness and she naturally thinks having a green thumb means, you know, having a green thumb but Parrish now gets in and out of the play on words faster.  The results are easier to read, and re-read, tales of an endearing, energetic and thoroughly likable young lady.

I wholeheartedly recommend all of the new Amelia Bedelia books.

*OWTK checked all of these books out from our local library.

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