Amelia helps a 9-foot blue gorilla named Nilson avoid tantrums by repeatedly reminding him, “No fits, Nilson!”
Chunky, acrylic illustrations depict age-old meltdown triggers: a toppled block tower, uncooperative sneakers that just (eeergh!) won’t get (oof!) on your feet and boring grown-up errands. Cheery matte colors, crisp white spaces and thick black outlines carve out a child’s binary world, in which moods run from hot to cold in a mercurial minute. When Nilson rages, his simian eyes squint, his shoulders hulk, and his mouth spews GAARRRGHH! in oversized, black, block letters. Children will empathize and, thanks to Nilson’s absurdity (this ape wears a newsboy cap, multiple watches and Adidas), see tantrums for what they really are—disproportionate and silly. Amelia, a cutie with hair clips, an inky bob, stripy tights and a monster scooter helmet, seems to always keep her cool…until the ice-cream truck runs out of her favorite banana flavor. Watch out! Readers sigh with relief when Nilson shares his scoop, and another fit is averted; they giggle with unexpected pleasure when Amelia kisses him good night and see that he’s a pint-sized stuffed animal who’s actually been helping her manage her feelings all along.
Foot-stomping fit pitchers will take multiple timeouts for this amusing modern fable. (Picture book. 2-4)