Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Small Readers: Amelia Bedelia Chalks one up by Herman Parish, illustrated by Lynne Avril

I have a really hard time accepting the new incarnation of Amelia Bedelia as a child. I've always felt that a large part of the humor of her literalism disappears when she's a child, since kids make mistakes about words quite often normally. If I was going to like one, however, it would probably be this one.

On a glum winter day, Amelia's mother says, sadly, that she is feeling blue. Amelia is confused, but suggests her mother has a playdate to cheer herself up. Her mom agrees and their neighbor comes over to watch Amelia and her friend Rose while Amelia's mother goes out. As she leaves, she says "chalk up another gray day" which gives Amelia an idea. With the help of her friend Rose and a growing crowd of passers-by, they create a beautiful explosion of colors with all her mother's favorite things.

There wasn't as much of the mistaken words theme in this one, which is part of the reason I liked it. I Can Read's level ones have quite a significant amount of text, compared to other publishers, and this flows smoothly and would be quite good for the average first grade reader. What really sells this for me is the lovely illustrations. They fit nicely in amongst the text, without distracting from the words, and are full of friendly color and light, starting with the dull gray winter day and then blooming into an explosion of color.

Verdict: This is similar enough to the Fancy Nancy easy readers that you can just go with those, if your budget is limited, but if you have the money this would make a nice additional purchase. Especially if you live somewhere with lots of gray winter days!

ISBN: 9780062334220; Published 2014 by Greenwillow/HarperCollins; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Added to the easy reader backlist


Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

That's funny--I think I like the Amelia Bedelia-as-a-child better *because* it makes more sense that a child would make mistakes about words! I just saw a new Amelia Bedelia chapter book, too--that looks like the right age group for her.

Elisa Bergslien said...

Strangely enough, my daughter has never been very interested in Fancy Nancy - we tried, no dice. She does, however, like this new incarnation of Amelia Bedelia - the hardbacks caught her attention. She thought Amelia Bedelia's First Day of School was hysterical.

I have been finding many of the 'literal' misinterpretations of words pretty forced, but we have been revisiting several of these books often, so I have learned to cope.

I am really happy to hear that mistaken words are less of a theme in this one. I am going to pick it up in self-defense.

Jennifer said...

I guess I just can't give up my original Amelia (now I feel ooooold). The childish incarnation always seems so forced to me - it's over the top, not like when Ramona gets words confused. But yeah, a lot of kids like them.