No Fits, Nilson!

(2013)

Picture a giant teal gorilla with yellow shoes and six watches. That’s Nilson. Now, imagine a small girl with dark bobbed-hair wearing a red jumper and rainbow tights. That’s Amelia.

Nilson and Amelia are best friends. They do everything together from playing music to building towers. Nilson is normally cool until the slightest thing sets him off. If a block wiggles and knocks down his entire structure, Nilson goes from calm and collected to throwing a gorilla-sized tantrum in 0.2 seconds. Trust me - his growl is impressive!

Amelia soothes Nilson’s meltdowns with a combination of gentle reminders (“No fits, Nilson!”), subtle misdirections and promises of their next great adventure. Amelia even masters the “gorilla eye lock” to keep Nilson’s behavior in check. (In case you are interested, OHora offers the 3-step process for this move on his Tumblr page.)

The day arrives when Amelia’s mother takes Amelia and Nilson to run errands. First, Nilson doesn’t want to leave the house. At the post office, there is an EXTREMELY long line. Then, a stranger on the train eats a banana and doesn’t share. Will Nilson be able to refrain from throwing  a fit?

The bold lines and bright colors of the illustrations heighten Nilson’s emotional reactions throughout the book. Preschoolers will connect with Nilson’s experiences and feelings. For more titles by Zachariah OHora, be sure to check out Stop Snoring, Bernard! and The Pet Project: Cute and Cuddly Vicious Verses.

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