Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Herman Parish
Illustrator: Lynne Avril
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Amelia Bedelia’s mother is a huge fan of garage sales, and when her father suggests doing a garage sale of their own, they start getting everything ready. At first Amelia Bedelia is afraid to sell their garage, but her parents change their sign to say “yard sale” and explain that they won’t be selling the actual yard, just whatever is in the yard. Once she agrees to that and the yard sale begins, she helps as best she can. One woman expresses interest in their sewing machine and asks for a yardstick as well. After some misunderstanding of what a yardstick is, Amelia Bedelia finally finds the item the woman is asking for. The woman also comments on how beautiful the flowers are in the yard, and since everything in the yard was for sale, Amelia Bedelia quickly and happily digs them up and sells them to the woman. Though her mother is a little disappointed in the end about the flowers, they all considered the yard sale a huge success.
Like other books in the Amelia Bedelia series, this one is marked by its humorous play on words and Amelia’s tendency to take everything literally. Not only will it make both children and adults laugh, but it also teaches children about the interesting concept of a garage sale. It teaches the difference between the noun pullover versus the verb pull over, a stick in a yard versus a yardstick, and a yard as a measurement versus a yard as in the area surrounding a house. As for the illustrations, they are completely satisfying—they are bright, colorful, clear, situated differently on each page to keep interest, and enhancing to the storyline. The text is also perfect for new readers in clear black font against a white background, and even the lines are perfectly tailored to flow as sentences should. This is an excellent book in a wonderful series and a great way to teach young children how to read!