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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Friendship, Blendship: Amelia Bedelia Makes A Friend by Herman Parish


AMELIA BEDELIA WAS LUCKY.

HER BEST FRIEND LIVED NEXT DOOR.

"THEY PLAY TOGETHER SO WELL," SAID AMELIA BEDELIA'S MOTHER.

"EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE AS DIFFERENT AS NIGHT AND DAY," SAID JEN'S MOTHER.

Having a best friend in first grade is great. Having her next door is even better. They like to dress-up together and jump rope together. Jen even goes along with Amelia Bedelia's novel form of bowling, rolling a ball at a large mixing bowl from the kitchen.

But then Amelia Bedelia's good luck seems to come to an end. Jen's family has to move away.

Sadly, she watches her best friend's furniture go into a van and waves morosely as Jen's family drives away to their new home. With a heavy heart, but not without her usual curiosity, Amelia watches as the new neighbor's moving van arrives.

It doesn't look promising over there. The new neighbor is an older lady with no kids at all. Even the hoped-for "pool" table (equipped for swimming) doesn't materialize. Still, little Amelia Bedelia goes along with her mother the next day to welcome the newcomer.

"HELLO, THERE!" SAID MRS ADAMS. "YOU MUST BE THE NEW NEIGHBORS!"

"NO," SAID AMELIA BEDELIA. "WE ALREADY LIVE HERE. YOU ARE OUR NEW NEIGHBOR."

"YOU KNOW," SAYS MRS. ADAMS, "I THINK WE BOTH ARE RIGHT."

Mrs. Adams is apparently a warm and wise woman who knows how to deal with her quirky little new neighbor. Not only does she have two grandchildren coming to visit, but she and Amelia Bedelia turn out to like to do a lot of the same things, including converting an outdoor table into a small "pool" table.

"THEY HAVE SO MUCH FUN TOGETHER!" SAID AMELIA BEDELIA'S FATHER.

"EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE AS DIFFERENT AS NIGHT AND DAY," SAID HER MOTHER.

Little Amelia is as full of comic malapropisms as ever in Herman Parish's I-Can-Read level 1 early reader, Amelia Bedelia Makes a Friend (I Can Read Book 1) (Harper, 2012), a story of friendship lost and found, in this latest in his young Amelia Bedelia series.

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