by Peggy Parish
Amelia Bedelia has entertained and enchanted readers for many years. Her misadventures with words, told in a series of all-time favorite children's books, have won this bumbling, lovable heroine a unique place in children's literature.
Amelia is a diligent housekeeper who takes her instructions literally - often with hilarious results. When her employer, Mrs Rogers, tells her to "dust the furniture", she dutifully finds "dusting powder" in the bathroom and sprinkles it all over the living room. Asked to "draw the drapes when the sun comes in", she takes out her sketchpad and draws a picture of the curtains. Prune the hedges? Easy - Amelia sticks prunes on them. Dress the chicken? She puts overalls and socks on the bird.
Children love the goofy mistakes that Amelia makes. What's more important is that this series gets kids into reading - and learning the difference between idioms and figures of speech, and literal meanings. These funny stories, in fact, convey to readers a sober message about the importance of communication skills, and how simple words can be misinterpreted. This is useful to know when talking or writing to people for whom English is a second, and confusing, language.
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