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Amelia Bedelia: A Childhood Favorite

Updated on November 5, 2014
Photo taken by Melody Lassalle of the copy she owns
Photo taken by Melody Lassalle of the copy she owns | Source

A Children's Classic, Amelia Bedelia!

Do you remember the woman in this picture? That's Amelia Bedelia! She was created by Peggy Parrish.

Since the early 1960s, children have been delighted by the antics of this slightly goofy but lovable maid. Remember how she took everything literally? She made you laugh as she worked through her list of chores. You never knew what she would come up with next!

When I worked for the county library system several years ago, I came upon a worn and torn copy. Obviously, it had been well read and well loved. It was one my favorite children's book. I took it home and kept it ever since.

Let's walk down memory lane and remember one of children's literary favorites, Amelia Bedelia!

[Photo taken by me from the cover of my copy]

How well do you know Ms. Bedelia?

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Amelia Bedelia Comes Home

A tattered and torn discarded book

In the 1980s, I worked for the local county library system in technical services. This was a wonderful job for a book lover.

One of the benefits of where I worked was that I got to look over the carts of books deemed too worn out for library use. These books marked "library discard" would be dumped if no one claimed them.

One day while thumbing through the hundreds of books, I gasped, "Oh no, not poor Amelia Bedelia!" I grabbed the book off the cart and took it back to my desk. There's no way I was letting Amelia Bedelia end up in the garbage!

Back at my desk, I looked the book over. Copyright 1963. This was probably the edition that was read to me in kindergarten!

I still have that book. It's a little worn out as I've read the story to the young ones in the family many times. I recently read it to my 8 year old niece who had never heard of the maid who had made me laugh so hard as a child. She laughed at Amelia's gaffs, especially when she put clothes on the chicken.

Amelia Bedelia will sit on my shelf until the glue no longer holds the binding. Maybe I'll read it to my great nieces and great nephews some day. She is timeless and she will continue to entertain children as long as children love to laugh.

Peggy Parish, The Author of Amelia Bedelia

Former School Teacher Turned Author

Peggy Parish was born in 1927 in Manning, South Carolina. She was a school teacher. She taught in several states including Dalton School in New York.

In the early 1960s, she began to write for her students. She published her first book in 1961. It wasn't Amelia Bedelia, but "Let's Be Indians". Amelia Bedelia came along two years later. It was published in 1963. She wrote 28 books. 12 of those books starred Amelia Bedelia. The last one, "Amelia Bedelia's Family Album," was published in 1988.

Parish stayed involved with children's education issues throughout her life. She strove to keep children interested in reading.

She passed away in 1988. She left behind an amazing collection of books and a daffy maid that we will never forget!

Laugh Again With Our Favorite Maid - 40th Anniversary Three Book Boxed Set

Amelia Bedelia has kept us in stiches since 1963. This collection includes the wonderful first book, "Amelia Bedelia", "Good Driving, Amelia Bedelia", and "Bravo, Amelia Bedelia".

Here's your chance to enjoy our favorite maid all over again. Better yet, read the books to a child and start another generation on these humorous classics.

Where is Manning?

A markerThis is Peggy Parish's hometown. -
manning south carolina
get directions

What Was Up With Amelia Bedelia?

Dusting? Dressing chicken? Whoever heard of doing such things? That's what Amelia Bedelia thought when she got the list of duties to accomplish for her first day of work. She thought her employer was crazy.

We all know the results. Ruined living room, curtains destroys, and chickens ready for a night out on the town. Good thing she could make a delicious pie or she'd have been out on her butt on the first day.

Or, was she right? Shouldn't we undust furniture and prepare chicken? Were these easy mistakes to make?

Are you an Amelia Bedelia supporter?

Photo courtesty of lightfood at
Photo courtesty of lightfood at | Source

The Character Lives On

Peggy Parrish's son, Herman Parrish, is carrying on the Amelia Bedelia tradition. He took up where his mother left off with Good Driving, Amelia Bedelia in 1995.

He wrote several additions to the Amelia as maid stories. In 2009, he began a series based on the young Amelia.

Why Amelia Wasn't Fired

Amelia Bedelia would have driven any employer crazy with her crazy antics. You couldn't tell her anything without being explicit. I've worked with a few people like's not easy.

She had a secret talent. She could bake like nobody's business. Pie was her specialty. Sort of makes you wonder how she could manage that but not the laundry. Ah, we all have our talents.

Wouldn't you tolerate a daffy maid if she made you great desserts every night? Especially since today hardly anyone bakes dessert every night. You'd come home from work and there would be the wonderful scent of fresh baked goods. I think you'd tolerate a whole lot of antics for that!

The Amelia Bedelia Statue - Manning, South Carolina


Peggy Parish was from the town of Manning, South Carolina. In 1999, this bronze statue of her most famous literary character, Amelia Bedelia, became a permanent resident of the Harvin Clarendon County Library. The library is located at 215 N. Brooks Street in Manning.

Learn to Bake Like Amelia

Baking can be a wonderful thing to share with your child. But, cooking in the grown up world can be messy and trying. Easy Bake has been teaching kids the basics of baking without the dangers...though you still get the mess.

Easy Bake Microwave and Style Deluxe Delights
Easy Bake Microwave and Style Deluxe Delights

These tasty treats can be cooked in your microwave!


If you loved books as a child, did you enjoy Amelia Bedelia? Who was your favorite children's book character?

Did you read Amelia Bedelia as a child?

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    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 6 years ago from USA

      I didn't read these as a child, but as an adult. When my students would order their Scholastic Books I would order mine. Eventually I had the entire collection and would read them to my nephews. She made reading a joy. Blessed.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 6 years ago from California

      Thank you both for the blessings! I am happy to know there are others who have enjoyed Amelia Bedelia.

    • franstan lm profile image

      franstan lm 6 years ago

      I read these books to my students, Blessed

    • LissaKlar LM profile image

      LissaKlar LM 6 years ago

      I read the books to my daughter and maybe as a child. We loved those books. Blessed*