Amelia Bedelia is a housekeeper who takes her instructions quite literally. Reading the list of chores that her employer has left her, Amelia begins with "Dust the furniture." How odd, Amelia thinks to herself. "At my house we undust the furniture." Nonetheless, she dutifully locates the "Dusting Powder" in the bathroom, and proceeds to sprinkle it all over the living-room furniture and floor. Next she is asked to "Draw the drapes when the sun comes in." So of course, Amelia sits down with a sketchpad and gives it her best shot. Children love reading about the antics of silly Amelia Bedelia for myriad reasons. It's an early reader book, so children in primary grades can take satisfaction in reading the book on their own. But, even more thrilling, children who are 6 and older can successfully interpret the figurative meaning behind most adult idioms. Being told to "keep an eye on the cat," for example, might compel some preschoolers to stick their eyeballs on a cat's face, eliciting peals of laughter from know-it-all grownups. But older children know better, and they love the fact that they know better. Young readers will find this bumblingly charming, eager-to-please housekeeper as irresistible as Amelia Bedelia's employers do.
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