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Amelia Bedelia author visiting East Tennessee

6:41 PM, Feb 12, 2013   |    comments
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A favorite children's book author is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the series with elementary school students.

One stop was the Christian Academy of Knoxville.

Amelia Bedelia is a housekeeper who does all the chores she's instructed to do, literally.

"In the first book she was supposed to draw the curtains like pull them down and instead she actually drew them," CAK Student Tate Reed said.

Christian Academy of Knoxville second grader Tate Reed is just one of the fans of the series of books who met the author in person today.

Herman Parish explained that his aunt was a third grade teacher with a goal of making reading fun. Peggy Parish wrote a dozen Amelia Bedelia books before she passed away 25 years ago.

"Kids were still reading the books and so they were writing to my aunt saying when is the next book coming out? We would always have to say well there aren't going to be anymore Amelia Bedelia books but this went on for five years. After 10,000 or 12,000 letters later we thought well maybe there should be more books," Herman Parish said.

So he continued the family tradition with the delightful misunderstandings of Amelia Bedelia.

"The all time favorite I think is still dress the chicken where she is told to dress the chicken, get it ready for dinner. Of course, she ends up putting it in this goofy shorts outfit," he said.

The library at CAK has more than 30 Amelia Bedelia books. The students checked out most of them in anticipation of Tuesday's visit.

"It was in the bathroom and she changed the towels. You know what she meant, she was going to change them actually like change the towels but instead she cut them up and changed them," Tate Reed said with a laugh.

The students laughed and asked questions and enjoyed the author's insights and then a surprise guest arrived.

CAK Student Riley Poe brought Amelia Bedelia to life as she dusted the children with dusting powder, of course.

"I'm really heading back to my childhood self because I took things very literally as a child," CAK Student Riley Poe. "I liked her sense of humor and also that she had red hair because we matched."

It's been fifty years since Amelia Bedelia convinced students reading is fun and that chicken line still gets a laugh.

The Amelia Bedelia author will also visit students at the Episcopal School of Knoxville, Tate School, King's Academy, and Concord Christian.

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