This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the first book in the “Amelia Bedelia” series.
It is Amelia Bedelia’s first day as housekeeper for Mr. and Mrs. Rogers. The wealthy couple leaves her a list of things to do while they’re out. Amelia Bedelia makes a lemon meringue pie and puts it in the oven, then begins her tasks. She takes each of her employers’ instructions literally, oblivious to the Rogers’ true intentions.
Though the towels in the bathroom look fine to her, the list says to “change” them. So she gets the scissors and cuts a little here and there to make them look different. The list says “dust the furniture,” so she covers the sofa and chairs with the face dusting powder she finds in Mrs. Rodgers’ bathroom. Amelia Bedelia doesn’t consider herself much of an artist, but when instructed to “draw the drapes,” she pulls out her notepad and sketches them as best she can. She “puts out the lights” by hanging all of the household light bulbs on the clothesline. After taking her pie out to cool, Amelia Bedelia goes on to “measure two cups of rice” — with a tape measure. She gets out ribbon and sewing supplies and proceeds to “trim the steak” and “dress the chicken.”
Mr. and Mrs. Rogers are upset and confused when they return. They find their bathroom towels destroyed, the living room covered with face powder, the steak decorated with ribbon and the raw, headless roasting chicken wearing homemade overalls. Just as Mrs. Rogers opens her mouth to fire Amelia Bedelia, her husband feeds her a bite of the lemon pie. The couple is so taken by Amelia Bedelia’s pie that they decide she can remain. Mrs. Rogers learns to choose her words more carefully when giving instructions to Amelia Bedelia.
Mr. and Mrs. Rodgers trust Amelia Bedelia to clean up and prepare food while they’re gone. They’re initially frustrated by the mess she’s made, but they give her another chance and adjust their instructions for her after tasting her delicious dessert.
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