Review posted October 29, 2013.
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2013. 32 pages.
I always love the books that turn the tables on a toddler’s world, and give them a chance to have a new perspective on their own propensities.
In this book, Amelia has a giant blue gorilla for a friend. The last page pictures him as a small stuffed toy in bed with her, but the bulk of the book is the way Amelia sees him: A giant blue companion.
They do everything together. But Nilson does have a problem with throwing fits.
However, Amelia’s on top of it. When she sees Nilson is frustrated, not getting what he wants, impatient, and about to throw a fit, she says “No fits, Nilson!” and gives him a reason to contain himself. “We’re having banana pancakes for breakfast!” “This is an ADVENTURE, not errands!”
The pictures are such fun, with Nilson’s mounting frustration and Amelia’s calm, but then happily enjoying the day together in between the fit-crises.
I especially love the page after Nilson’s been promised banana ice cream on the way home.
Amelia covers Nilson’s mouth and stares him down with a gorilla eye lock, repeating the words banana ice cream over and over.
The picture shows tiny red words BANANA ICE CREAM over and over in a line between their eyes and between Amelia’s mouth and Nilson’s ears.
There’s a lovely climax when it turns out there’s no banana ice cream left for Amelia, and she’s the one in danger of throwing a fit. This time, Nilson is the one who saves the day and calms her down.
This book is perfect for any family whose child has ever acted like a giant gorilla. Marvellously cozy and quirky.