"Absolutely," said Amelia Bedelia. "I can cook on any range, gas or electric."
For sixteen years, Herman Parish has been carrying on the tradition of his aunt, Peggy Parish, by continuing The Adventures of Amelia Bedelia.
Published on April 1, 2011 by Greenwillow Books (an imprint of HarperCollins), Go West, Amelia Bedelia! follows the same classic style that readers have delighted in since 1963.
Although the language is someone antiquated, the watercolor illustrations by Lynn Sweat offer some explanation for what Parish hopes to imply. I'm labeling this book as a family read-aloud rather than for a particular age group, because while the publisher marked it as a book for ages 5-9, I feel that children that age would not get the jokes without an adults help the first read through.
Go West, Amelia Bedelia! is a great way to teach your children about homonyms and figures of speech that they may encounter in social situations or cowboy books and movies.
Though not an exhaustive list, here are a couple of examples of concepts that you might need to explain:
On page 9, Amelia Bedelia meets Jake, the ranch foreman and promptly wishes to know where the one, two, and three men are.
On page 21, Jake describes a horse as being a quarter horse, to which Amelia Bedelia replies, "That horse is worth at least a dollar."
On page 25, Jake says that an outlaw was "tossed in the cooler." Amelia Bedelia thinks that would be a lovely way to spend such a hot day.
On page 52, Jake tell Amelia Bedelia "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth." Though she doesn't understand the idiom, Amelia Bedelia agrees with this only because the horse "might have bad breath."
All-in-all, Go West, Amelia Bedelia! follows tradition and makes you chuckle with its dry humor. I laughed even more with the illustrations. Amelia Bedelia would wear green cowgirl boots decorated with yellow flowers!
What is your favorite Amelia Bedelia book? Have you ever done anything "Amelia Bedelia-ish"?