Amelia Bedelia

Every parent has a book that drives her crazy, that she hopes and prays her kid will not choose yet again, that she dreads reading. For me this book is Amelia Bedilia. Worse than Eloise, the fairies, even the ponies, AB is so annoying. That’s the point of all the stories, she misunderstands– whether its how to clean a house or play baseball.

Kids do think its funny when grown ups don’t get something obvious. The other day, my brother-in-law came out of the kitchen with a banana on his head, asking my three year old, “Have you seen a banana anywhere?” She was cracking up. The kid could not stop laughing. She thought it was the most hilarious thing she’d ever seen.

If Alice laughed like this when I was reading, I would forgive Amelia for being so irritating. But Alice sits there, totally straight faced– yet intrigued- while Amelia sprinkles face powder all over the sofa after she was told to dust it.

Amelia is so annoying, she doesn’t even fit in my rating system. She’s does nothing for girlpower, but she’s not really stereotyping either. Hate her.

5 thoughts on “Amelia Bedelia

  1. Pingback: Most annoying girl characters in books « ReelGirl

  2. Kim,
    Now I remember (unfortunately) liking her as a child too. But I think it was just her name that I loved to say. Speaking of, my kids love to say “Riki Tiki Tembo…” but you’re right about the racist thing, and the sexism, my God, they don’t even get to lowly, its just the second son vs the first son. Spanking in Little House?? Would Michael Landon approve?


  3. The funny thing is I remember really liking AB when i was a kid, was happy that my four year old got it for Christmas, and was shocked when we read it and what an airhead Amelia Bedilia is. The one plus is it’s an opportunity to talk to kids about taking things literally (Amelia’s shtick– she always takes the literal interpretation of any instruction, like “trim the roast”) and idiom. But what a disappointment!

    And this isn’t the first time I’ve had this disillusioning experience of rereading some kids’ book I remember loving and now feel flabbergaster and bummed out by. “Rikki Tikki Tembo” has a weird racist (well, at least exotifying) element to it that makes my husband flat-out refuse to read it; “Little Hosue in the Big Woods”– I had totally forgotten about all the spanking and detailed animal slaughter. Have you reread those books? They will take you aback, I bet. More common is the experience of just being bored by some badly written book I have fond memories of (Judy Blume).

  4. I’m with you on Bedelia. There were few things I’d refuse to read to the kids, but I refused to read Bedelia. Luckily, my son’s fascination with the series only last a couple months. They are awful books.
    Currently, the boy being a few years older, I’m having to read “Last Olympian” to him — a Percy Jackson book from a series that I guess is hitting the movies soon. Anyway, it’s pretty intolerable and I’ve asked a couple times if we can stop reading it, but so far he insists on continuing.
    I guess it’s good to know there’s bad writing out there, so you can better appreciate the good writing.

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