Happy Birthday Amelia BedeliaHappy 50th birthday, Amelia Bedelia! Today is officially Amelia Bedelia Day, and starts a year -long celebration of fifty years of Amelia Bedelia books. Amelia Bedelia, written by Peggy Parish and illustrated by Fritz Siebel, was first published in September of 1963. Readers fell in love with the adorable, literal maid and Parish went on to write twelve more Amelia Bedelia books before her sudden death in 1988. After her death, her nephew Herman Parish continued to write the series and in 2009, he created the Amelia Bedelia picture books illustrated by Lynne Avril, which feature Amelia Bedelia as a child. After fifty years, Amelia Bedelia remains one of the most beloved characters in children’s literature.

Are you the world’s biggest Amelia Bedelia fan? Let’s start by testing your Amelia Bedelia knowledge. Here are some of the “True or False” statements I used on a group of first graders at a local elementary school.  I was invited to promote the Amelia Bedelia Birthday Party thrown by the local library, where I am privileged to be the Youth Services Librarian. Those first graders knew their Amelia Bedelia!

Okay: True or False? (If you don’t want to see the answers, don’t scroll down just yet!)

  1. When Amelia Bedelia is told to draw the drapes in the house, she takes out a pencil and draws them.
  2. The classic dessert made by Amelia Bedelia is lemon merengue pie.
  3. Amelia Bedelia has never been fired by her employer, Mr. Rogers.
  4. Amelia Bedelia wears jeans when she is working.
  5. When Amelia Bedelia is told to change the towels in the green bathroom, she takes out a pair of scissors and cuts them into different shapes.
  6. Mr. and Mrs. Rogers decide to let Amelia continue to work for them because she makes really good pies. 

Amelia Bedelia Fiftieth Annivesary Edition

And here are the answers:

  1. True
  2. True
  3. False, Mr. Rogers fired Amelia in Come back, Amelia Bedelia!
  4. False, she always wore a maid’s outfit.
  5. True
  6. True

Can’t get enough of Amelia Bedelia? You’re in luck! Today Greenwillow Books will release five great Amelia Bedelia books including Amelia Bedelia: The Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, Amelia Bedelia:  I Can Read! The 50th Anniversary Edition, Amelia Bedelia Hits the Trail (an I Can Read! early reader), and two books in the brand new Amelia Bedelia chapter book series written by Herman Parish,  Amelia Bedelia Means Business and Amelia Bedelia Unleashed.

The Amelia Bedelia celebration doesn’t end today. An author tour, a costume tour, and other publicized events are planned throughout the year.  Off the Library Shelf will provide more details about these events as they unfold.  Until then, you can read, or reread the many wonderful Amelia Bedelia books. Your local library, schools, and bookstores will have many, if not all, of the books available. Children will enjoy reading them together or on their own and want to read them again and again. Read, laugh, and don’t forget that slice of lemon merengue pie!

Until next time, Happy Reading!


the Singing Librarian