The Barnes & Noble Review
She's the literal-minded housekeeper whose zany antics have entertained generations of kids. And now Amelia Bedelia is back and as hilarious as ever! This time, her commitment to doing exactly what people tell her to do lands Amelia Bedelia in the middle of an election, where she's running for mayor and garnering support from the entire town.
The story begins with a typical breakfast served in the Rogers's household. At Mr. Rogers's request for pancakes, Amelia Bedelia serves up pan cakes cakes baked in a frying pan and covered in chocolate frosting. Commenting on Amelia Bedelia's habit of following other people's instructions to the letter, Mr. Rogers exclaims, "I wish you were the mayor." And when he then jokingly adds that she should run for the mayor's office, Amelia Bedelia's response is "See you later," as she dashes off to City Hall.
After literally running for the office (in a physical sense) and barging in on a press conference, Amelia Bedelia faces a series of misunderstandings that lead her to run for office in a political sense. After all, she "always does what folks say to do." When a reporter hears this revelation, he's impressed and says he'll vote for her, and that "We need some change." In typical Amelia Bedelia fashion, the new mayoral candidate then offers him the 43 cents she has in her pocket.
Egged on by Mayor Thomas, who declares that Amelia Bedelia "couldn't even be a dog catcher," Amelia Bedelia ultimately throws her hat in the ring (by tossing her hat onto a ringing telephone), and gathers quite a bit of support fromthetownspeople. A nice message is relayed to readers about the electoral process with the observation that with someone like Amelia Bedelia competing for office, "People began to care more about their town, about each other, and their future."
In the end, during an outlandish debate, Amelia comically proves a point she set out to make: that she can be a dog catcher. As a result, the mayor takes back what he said and apologizes, causing Amelia Bedelia to withdraw from the race. As Amelia Bedelia explains, "I said I would run for mayor unless Mayor Thomas took back what he said. He took it back. So now I don't have to run anymore." She knows how to keep a promise, and her integrity inspires the mayor to keep his promises. Both Mr. and Mrs. Rogers note this the next morning when they see the headline of the newspaper: "Mayor Will Cut Taxes."
Filled with funny wordplay, Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor is more than a delightful read the author's liberal use of homonyms and puns provides a great way to teach kids about the meaning and usage of words. It's also a lighthearted introduction to discussions about the election process. So cast your vote for Amelia Bedelia, because when it comes to laugh-out-loud adventure, she's always a winner!
Reading level: Ages 6 and up