The Country's Most Famous House Maid Turns 50

He said children often asked if Amelia Bedelia "was always like that," in other words, whether she had always interpreted words so literally.

In 2009, Greenwillow published "Amelia Bedelia's First Day of School," portraying her as a young student. It became a New York Times bestseller.

Parish has written 17 books about the grown-up Amelia Bedelia and five picture books about Amelia Bedelia as a young girl. He has also written three Level 1 "I Can Read" books, also about Amelia Bedelia's younger years.

Parish is working on the third chapter book, "literally a new chapter in the Amelia Bedelia series," he said.

While Parish is a self-described "fossil" who prefers reading on paper and does not own an e-reader, he fully accepts that doing electronic versions of his books, for example, for Amazon's Kindle, are "just part of the deal."

"I like books. I like the way they feel. I like the way they interact with paper. That's how I grew up," Parish said. "I understand the electronic version. I guess I'm just old-fashioned."

When asked about the state of the children's book industry, instead of pining for the good old days of "The Cat in the Hat," Parish said, "I think children's books are just getting better and better, especially with the young adults."

"I think it comes down to whether you're a good writer or great writer or mediocre writer. I think whether it's children's literature or young adult literature, if this is a good book, then it's a good book, period," Parish said.

When asked who would carry the torch after him, Parish said he was sure someone would step forward and continue the series, even though "no one has expressed interest so far."

"I'm sure Amelia will be dusting and undusting long after I'm gone," Parish said. "I guess just undusting. That's what she does."

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