Summer Pick: No Fits, Nilson!
by Zachariah OHora for Dial Books for Young Readers
What's it about?
Amelia's best friend Nilson is a large blue gorilla, and they do everything together. But sometimes, like any gorilla (or preschooler!), Nilson gets terribly upset and needs some help calming down.
Why do we love it?
This sweet story outlines different everyday situations that kids might find frustrating -- and, with judgement-free acknowledgement, provides strategies for coping. OHora is masterful at making kids' challenges feel funny without making fun of them. And his illustrations are simply spectacular. We love the bright colors and wood block look and feel. And we love, love, love the character design. From Amelia's angry kitty scooter helmet and froggy coin purse to Nilson's blue fur, six watches and cap, OHora has created outstanding, original, and cool looking characters who feel approachable, and don't pander to the usual pastel or primary preschool fare.
And, spoiler alert: Turns out that Nilson is actually Amelia's stuffed animal. How cute is that?!
We want more:
This book is so iconic, fun, and relatable it's absolutely ripe for content and merchandising extensions. My kid asks for a froggy coin purse every time we read this book, and, well, Nilson is a stuffed animal after all! But more than than that, we can totally see Amelia, Nilson, and friends helping each other through all types of social situations. After all, navigating the world can be hard for a kid!
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