Amelia Bedelia and Literal Humour

Cover of “Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia”

My fondness for literal humour has roots. Only recently, those memories were discovered. This book was in my second grade classroom. My eyes read it dozens of times over the course of the school year. The character Amelia Bedelia is in my view one of the most underappreciated in all of literature.

My mispronunciation of her name was a mystery given my reading skills were decent for my youthful age. Maybe it was because the book stood out to me from a distance across the classroom. Or, that “slight bit of dyslexia” brain cell transposed the name differently.


This book may have been my first foray into humour reading, and wanting to write fun stuff for the pages. My subsequent grade school short stories from there on out were attempts to find a voice and fill the dreadful school days with work that was enjoyable to take part in.

Literal humour is very hit or miss. It can be a billboard sign, misplaced wording on a supermarket product tag or in a newspaper advertisement, and many other everyday places of viewing. The web is full of these examples. When they appear in books like the Amelia Bedelia series, they are positive educational moments about literacy and another bright light within it.



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