is a series of American children's books featuring the title character, a Literal-Minded
housekeeper whose failure to understand basic English metaphors leads to much of the comedy of the series. The series was written by Peggy Parish until her death in 1988, and by her nephew Herman Parish beginning in 1995. The books have been illustrated by Wallace Tripp, Fritz Siebel, and Lynn Sweat, the current illustrator.
The character of Amelia Bedelia was based on a maid in Cameroon, where the author spent some time during her formative years. Her vast collection of hats, notorious for their extensive plumage, inspired her to write an assortment of tales based on her experiences in North Africa.
More recently, the series has had a number of prequel books featuring the young Amelia Bedelia as a schoolgirl. These are written by Parish also, but illustrated by Lynne Avril.
Books in this series: by Peggy Parish
by Herman Parish
- Amelia Bedelia (1963)
- Thank You, Amelia Bedelia (1964)
- Amelia Bedelia and the Surprise Shower (1966)
- Come Back, Amelia Bedelia (1971)
- Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia (1972)
- Good Work, Amelia Bedelia (1976)
- Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia (1977)
- Amelia Bedelia Helps Out (1979)
- Amelia Bedelia and the Baby (1981)
- Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping (1985)
- Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedelia (1986)
- Amelia Bedelia's Family Album (1988)
Young Amelia Bedelia, by Herman Parish
- Good Driving, Amelia Bedelia (1995)
- Bravo, Amelia Bedelia! (1997)
- Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor (1999)
- Calling Doctor Amelia Bedelia (2002)
- Amelia Bedelia and the Christmas List (2003)
- Amelia Bedelia, Bookworm (2003)
- Happy Haunting, Amelia Bedelia (2004)
- Amelia Bedelia Goes Back to School (2004)
- Be My Valentine, Amelia Bedelia (2004)
- Amelia Bedelia, Rocket Scientist? (2005)
- Amelia Bedelia's Masterpiece (2007)
- Amelia Bedelia Under Construction (2007)
- Amelia Bedelia and the Cat (2008)
- Go West, Amelia Bedelia! (2012)
- Amelia Bedelia, Cub Reporter (2012)
- Amelia Bedelia's First Day of School (2009)
- Amelia Bedelia's First Valentine (2009)
- Amelia Bedelia Makes a Friend (2011)
- Amelia Bedelia's First Apple Pie (2012)
- Amelia Bedelia's First Vote (2012)
- Amelia Bedelia Sleeps Over (2012)
- Amelia Bedelia Means Business (2013, chapter book)
- Amelia Bedelia Unleashed (2013, chapter book)
- Amelia Bedelia Hits the Trail (2013)
- Amelia Bedelia's First Library Card (May 2013)
- Amelia Bedelia Road Trip! (August 2013, chapter book)
- Amelia Bedelia Tries Her Luck (August 2013)
This book series contains examples of:
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma
- Continuity Nod: The second Young Amelia Bedelia chapter book, Amelia Bedelia Unleashed, is full of this, including friends Amelia Bedelia made in the first one and people that recognize her from TV or otherwise from seeing her throughout town.
- Death Glare: Amelia Bedelia's mother is capable of one.
- Entendre Failure
- Full-Name Basis: She doesn't like to be called "Amelia," she prefers her full name.
- Hair Decorations: The kid version of Amelia Bedelia wears a flower in her hair and a barrette.
- Exact Words
- Full-Name Basis
- Genius Ditz: For all her linguistic failings, Ms. Bedelia is a phenomenal cook.
- Insult Backfire: "Go jump in a lake"? She already did that while "catching a fish" with her hands.
- Literal-Minded: The former Trope Namer.
- Long Runners
- Pungeon Master: Amelia's father, much to her embarrassment, at least at first— some of his puns turn out to have an unexpected truth to them.
- Spinoff Babies: "Amelia Bedelia's First X" books
- Spit Take: Amelia Bedelia's mother does this in Amelia Bedelia Unleashed, one of the Young Amelia Bedelia chapter books, after Amelia Bedelia suggests that she could have twins.
- Supreme Chef: Amelia can work her way out of any situation with her aforementioned fantastic cooking.
- Ultimate Job Security: Amelia screws up basically every order she's given, often in incredibly stupid ways, and she still keeps her job (see Supreme Chef).
- In the first book, Amelia Bedelia spent the whole day screwing up her chores, but then she baked this insanely delicious cake, and that caused her employers to forgive her earlier mistakes. Yes, apparently her cooking is that good.
- Amelia did lose her housekeeping job once, giving her opportunities to misunderstand several others, such as hairdresser, where she pins up a lady's hair with safety pins, but in the end she's welcomed back with open arms.
- Visual Pun