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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Little Amelie likes to keep busy, especially at the village farm where she can help care for the animals and tend the gardens. She greets all the animals with enthusiasm, starting with the chicks, roosters, and pigs. But, when the babies come charging at her with equal enthusiasm, Amelie is suddenly frightened and calls out to Yiayia. A bowl of strawberry ice cream calms the girl and she continues bustling around the farm, greeting all the animals and their babies. She’s learning as she goes and enjoying her work, too. Everything inspires the young girl and she marvels at how high the birds fly, or how delicately a bee swirls around a flower to soak up some nectar, or even the hedgehog that barely moves and looks like a log.
Agatha Rodi’s picture book story, Amelie Gets Busy, is a charming tale that will capture the attention of young readers, teaching them about life on the farm, the animals, and how important it is to keep busy. The story is told in free verse, using simple language to make it easy for a young reader to read along and perhaps read alone. The accompanying illustrations add to the charm and help move Amelie’s story through the farm and the animals and gardens she tends. The story is told with compassion. I love the ending: “I always take my village with me,/ The blue light and the hues of the rainbow/ That make me say wow!/ That’s why I’m so impressed!” Life might be simple, but in all its simplicity it can also be very satisfying and beautiful, as Amelie discovers.