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Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Company, Incorporated
Peggy Parish was born in Manning, South Carolina on July 14, 1927. She attended the University of South Carolina and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. While visiting her brother in Kentucky, Parish was persuaded to enter the teaching profession. After teaching creative dancing to young children, she moved to Oklahoma and taught third grade in the Panhandle, in addition to teaching dance and producing community shows. Parish knew that she wanted to work in some creative field but still wasn't quite what. So she decided to move to New York, hoping to gain a sense of direction. She was fortunate enough to get a job in a progressive experimental school where creativity was stressed, the Dalton School in Manhattan and also began to write. Parish's first book, My Golden Book of Manners, was published in 1961, followed by Let's Be Indians in 1962. A parent of one of the students, who was an editor of adult books, found out she was trying to break into the writing field and introduced her to an editor at Harper who helped improve her skills as a storyteller. This, of course, led to her biggest breakthrough, the creation of Amelia Bedelia in 1963. Parish eventually wrote 11 more Amelia Bedelia booksas well as a number of mystery novels, and arts and crafts books. Among these other titles are Haunted House, Dinosaur Time, The Chimp That Went to School and Let's Celebrate: Holiday Decorations You Can Make. In addition to writing books, Parish did television pieces on preschool education and children's books, wrote book review columns and led a number of in-service training workshops for teachers. Parish died of an aneurysm on November 19, 1988. Her nephew, Herman Parish, continues to recreate new titles in the Amelia Bedelia series.