Tuesday, July 23, 2013

No Fits, Nilson! by Zachariah OHora -- ADVISABLE

OHora, Zachariah No Fits, Nilson! 32 pgs. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2013. $16.99. PICTURE BOOK.

Amelia and Nilson are best friends who do (almost) everything together, but every once in a while something small sets Nilson off, and he explodes into a huge tantrum. At that point, Amelia and her mom step in, guiding him toward self-control by promising him rewards if he keeps himself calm. The system works well until the day the ice cream man runs out of Amelia's favorite flavor. Now she's the one who must figure out how to control her temper.

No Fits, Nilson! is a cute story with fun, retro illustrations and a true-to-life little girl dealing with a very real issue: temper tantrums. While I wish the story focused more on showing children how to learn self-control, rather than relying on external factors (such as promised treats or punishments) for motivation, this is still a nice jumping-off point for discussions on when it is -- and isn't -- appropriate to have a tantrum, what causes tantrums, and how to control them. Children should have empathy for both Nilson and Amelia, cheering them on when they are able to avoid having fits and wincing when they do break down.

Pre-K, EL (K-3) -- ADVISABLE. Reviewed by: Caryn

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