The author of nearly 50 books for children, Margaret Cecile "Peggy" Parish is best known for her 11-book series for young readers about Amelia Bedelia, the preposterously literal housekeeper for the Rogers family. On her first day of work (Amelia Bedelia, 1963), the maid dusts with dusting powder and sketches the drapes when asked to draw them. In Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia (1972), the obvious traps in baseball terminology, from stealing bases to running home, inevitably tickle beginning readers.
Parish created other series around likable adults, like Granny Guntry and Aunt Emma. A sweet old pioneer with a gun that does not shoot, Granny manages to get just what she wants despite brushes with danger (Granny and the Desperadoes, 1970). Everybody tries to tell Aunt Emma what to do, but events justify her own desires (The Cat's Burglar, 1983). Parish also wrote some nonfiction and craft books, but her great contribution to children's literature was to make reading fun.
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