Peggy Parish

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Margaret Cecile "Peggy" Parish (July 14, 1927 – November 19, 1988) was an American writer known best for the children's book series and fictional character Amelia Bedelia. The series was continued by her nephew Herman Parish after her sudden death from an aneurysm. Parish was born in Manning, South Carolina to a poor family, attended the University of South Carolina, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.[1]

Amelia Bedelia is a simple character, based on cracker-barrel punning humor and folklore. She works as a household cook and occasional servant, jobs that Parish did in her home when she was young. She uses no recipes, but, by intuitively combining a little bit of this and a little bit of that, her cakes and cookies and meals are always delicious. She is such a good cook that her employers cannot fire her, despite the disastrous way she misinterprets their instructions: prune the shrubs, scale and ice the fish, file the letters, run over the tablecloth with an iron, shorten these dresses, serve coffee with porridge, heat a can of soup, and so on. Amelia Bedelia is extremely literal-minded. The author's word-play, and Amelia Bedelia's fundamental goodness and childlike simplicity appeal to youngsters who are beginning to see and enjoy more than one meaning in a word or a phrase.[citation needed] Herman honored Peggy's life in his book, Good Driving, Amelia Bedelia, by writing in its dedication: "For Peggy Parish, the real Amelia."

Selected works[edit]

  • Littlest Raccoon (1961), illustrated by Claude Humbert
  • Let's Be Indians (1962), illus. Arnold Lobel
  • My Little Golden Book of Manners (1962), illus. Richard Scarry
  • Good Hunting Little Indian (1963), illus. Leonard Weisgard
    Re-released and revised in 1991 as Good Hunting, Blue Sky with illustrations by James Watts
  • Willy Is My Brother (1963), illus. Shirley Hughes
  • The Golden Calendar: 1966 (1966), illus. Tibor Gergely
  • Let's Be Early Settlers with Daniel Boone (1967), illus. Arnold Lobel
  • Ootah's Lucky Day (1970), illus. Mamoru Funai
  • Dinosaur Time (1974), illus. Arnold Lobel
  • Scruffy, illus. Kelly Oechsli (1988)

Amelia Bedelia[edit]

Main article: Amelia Bedelia

Illustrated by Wallace Tripp, Fritz Siebel, or Lynn Sweat:

  • Amelia Bedelia (1963) (Big Bright and Early Board Books)
  • Thank You, Amelia Bedelia (1964)
  • Amelia Bedelia and the Surprise Shower (1966)
  • Come Back, Amelia Bedelia (1971)
  • Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia (1972)
  • Good Work, Amelia Bedelia (1976)
  • Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia (1977)
  • Amelia Bedelia Helps Out (1979)
  • Amelia Bedelia and the Baby (1981)
  • Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping (1985)
  • Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedelia (1986)
  • Amelia Bedelia's Family Album (1988)

Liza, Bill & Jed mysteries[edit]

  • Key to the Treasure (1966)
  • Clues in the Woods (1968)
  • The Haunted House (1971)
  • Pirate Island Adventure (1975)
  • The Mystery of Hermit Dan (1977)
  • The Ghosts of Cougar Island (1986)


External links[edit]