No Fits, Nilson!
Zachariah OHora. Dial, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3852-2
When one is a small child with a temper, it helps to have a friend whose temper is even worse. Amelia’s closest pal is a mammoth blue gorilla named Nilson, and when she accidentally knocks over his building block structure, he has “the biggest, most house shaking-est fit ever!!” The techniques Amelia uses to help Nilson maintain his composure while running errands with Amelia’s mother are hilariously familiar: she hands him her froggy purse to hold in a slow-moving post office line; then, as he hankers after a fellow subway passenger’s banana, she stares him down “with a gorilla eye lock, repeating the words banana ice cream over and over.” Yet when Nilson gets the last banana ice cream, it’s Amelia who throws a fit. “I’ll get chocolate instead,” Nilson offers gallantly. OHora’s (Stop Snoring, Bernard!) rough, woodcutlike acrylic paintings are a delight, and there are quirky details to be savored everywhere, from the buff weightlifter at the post office to the neat rows of Gorilla Krunch at the grocery store. Nilson’s (and Amelia’s) struggle to behave will leave a lasting impression. Ages 3–5. Agent: Sean McCarthy, Sheldon Fogelman Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/15/2013