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Why Amelia Bedelia is Still So Iconic After Five Decades

Did you know that the first Amelia Bedelia books were published over fifty years ago? That means the eccentric housekeeper has been teaching children and adults the original use of the word “literally” for half of a century! While the original books are still just as relevant and popular as ever, the series has expanded to include stories about Amelia Bedelia’s childhood. Spoiler alert: she has always been very literal, which is just one of her many admirable traits. Here are four more reasons why Amelia Bedelia is still so iconic after five decades:

She makes kids laugh while subtly helping them to learn. Kids love to laugh, and Amelia Bedelia is SILLY. Most kids are quick to pick up on her mistakes, but they also learn from her errors. Even young children inherently know that Amelia Bedelia’s interpretation of common expressions isn’t accurate, yet they may not be sure of the correct meaning themselves.  In one of the newest Amelia Bedelia books, Amelia Bedelia Under the Weather, a young Amelia Bedelia wakes up feeling sick. “I’m sorry you’re under the weather,” says her father. She, of course, replies, “I am not…I am under my covers.” It’s easy to chuckle at her response, but the English language is packed with idioms, and Amelia Bedelia has helped define them for many of us!

Amelia Bedelia books

Early readers can grow with Amelia Bedelia.  The books make great read aloud stories for kids of all ages, but they are also the ideal I Can Read books for children who are just learning to read on their own. Books like Amelia Bedelia Makes a Friend  and Amelia Bedelia Under the Weather are great picks for beginning readers. They are written with simple sentences using familiar words. As readers become more confident, there are also Amelia Bedelia stories that include more complex story lines, longer sentences, and more challenging words. Whether they’re ready to move onto a higher reading level with Amelia Bedelia or dive into a chapter book like Amelia Bedelia Means Business, there’s an Amelia Bedelia book for everyone!

The books span generations. There aren’t many books that have stood the test of time as well as Amelia Bedelia has. Parents, and even many grandparents, can recognize her as a classic children’s book character, right alongside favorites like Frog and Toad and The Berenstain Bears. One of the benefits of classic characters is that adults enjoy re-reading them and can share their memories of the stories with a new set of readers. Those who remember reading about Amelia Bedelia as a child can also discover fresh stories about Amelia’s own childhood. Amelia Bedelia Storybook Favorites features five stories about young Amelia Bedelia, as well as a slew of extras, including puzzles, word scrambles, and a sticker sheet!

More Amelia Bedelia books

She makes kids feel smart. Amelia Bedelia is one smart cookie. She’s more than competent at many things, but in the words of children’s book expert, Anita Silvey, “Children need to feel when they read books that they are smart. And no one makes them feel smarter than a character that is confused about language. What makes Amelia Bedelia such an attractive protagonist is the strength of her character. When she makes a mistake, she goes on. She remains positive and upbeat, no matter what happens. In the end she actually teaches children a lot about vocabulary, even while they are laughing at her silly mistakes.” Kids like to see a person with some imperfections – that’s what makes them so unique.

What do you love most about Amelia Bedelia? We’d love to know!