Any one who has ever gone to a bookstore with me knows that I tend to make a beeline from the front door right to the kids section to see what's new in Children's books. Yes, I know this is odd, but think of it this way-- children are the future, right? Don't you want to know what they're being taught? How they're being enticed to read? I love to see the trendy lessons being taught. And beyond that I love to see what celebrities have books out, and what's the hot thing in illustrations. So on a Monday midday trip to Barnes and Noble (I was told it was working time and other activities were forbidden) I beelined it for the Barnes and Noble Jr. section. You may not know this but Valentine's day is less than two weeks away, and the front table was covered with pink, red and white books of all sorts. I picked up Lyla the Love Sick Ladybug and Amelia Bedlia's First Valentine.

Amelia Bedlia looked very, very different from the misunderstanding Victorian-esque maid of my childhood books. After Amela's creaton Peggy Parish's death in 1988, her nephew Herman Parish took up the cause of Amelia in 1995, and has been writing the series ever since. In this new book, Amelia Bedelia's First Valentine, Amelia gets a new look as a little girl with a hip card playing mom and a kindly sarcastic dad in thick rimmed glasses and smart tapered pants.

Amelia retains her same confusion with figures of speech (how can Little Amelia hold an entire school bus up? She's not that strong!) but has transformed into a slightly frustrating maid into an adorable grammar schooler, in a stripped shirt and a red jumper. She unwittingly has a deep conversation with neighbor Jeremy about broken hearts and breaking others' hearts. Amelia is creative and resourceful when she realizes she's left her Valentine's cards on the bus, using a pack of cards to make last minute cards. The book has a lovely tone to it, very sweet illustrations, great characters and moreover, would be fun for any adult to read to the child in their life. I'm so pleased with this re-imagining of a classic character, she retains all the best of Amelia Bedelia and has transformed into a very exciting new character-- I'm excited to see what's next for this little Amielia!

Amelia Bedelia's First Valentine is currently 20% off at Barnes and Noble, or through What a great Valentine's Day present for the lovely little girl in your life!

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