No Fits, Nilson! (Anglais) Relié – 13 juin 2013
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Descriptions du produit
Revue de presse
"Foot-stomping fit pitchers will take multiple timeouts for this amusing modern fable." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"A visual feast as well as a treat to the ear, this is a book that’s going to find an audience no matter where it goes." - Betsy Bird, School Library Journal Review of the Day
"OHora’s rough, woodcutlike acrylic paintings are a delight, and there are quirky details to be savored everywhere...Nilson’s (and Amelia’s) struggle to behave will leave a lasting impression." - Publishers Weekly
"OHora’s acrylic illustrations evince a crispness of finish, smoothness of color, and strength of black line that suggests particularly lively woodcuts, and a streamlined retro palette...enhances the graphic strength." - Bulletin of Center for Children's Books
Stop Snoring, Bernard! won the 2011 Society of Illustrator's Founder's Award and is the Pennsylvania One Book Selection for 2012.
Présentation de l'éditeur
Inspired by Ohora's own "negotiations" with his two sons, No Fits, Nilson! is a hilarious preschool pick for kids and parents navigating the treacherous tantrum phase.
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Commentaires en ligne
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
I LOVE the artwork, and the Amelia-Nilson relationship has tremendous kid appeal. Kids love stories where children have power over big things. I also like that our little Amelia is shown building with blocks, riding a scooter, playing a ukulele - not just doing "girly" things. She's my kind of kid.
The story follows Amelia and her special friend Nilson through a day, with impatient Nilson often on the verge of fits. Amelia or her mom help him calm down when he gets upset. Problem is, half of the examples use food to get Nilson to behave:
When Nilson can't get his sneakers on. Amelia calms him by reminding that he can have banana pancakes for breakfast. Next page, Nilson is seen drinking happily from the syrup bottle.
When Nilson wants someone else's banana on the train, Amelia's mom says, "If you both sit quietly, we'll get banana ice cream on the way home." Amelia then covers Nilson's mouth and chants the words "banana ice cream" all the way to their stop.
I get the gorilla-banana connection, but I wish the book hadn't gone to junk food as a reward. Or, at least, I wish there had been more, other examples to balance it out. We're not fond of promising treats for good behavior.
Which brings me to the other quibble with the book: When Nilson gets the last scoop of banana ice cream, Amelia has a FIT. She drops to the ground, growls, and roars, "I WANT BANANA ICE CREAM!" So Nilson gives her his.
On one hand, it is a kind, empathetic act. But, on the other hand, it is rewarding the fit. I wish the author could have had Nilson offer to share when Amelia started to be disappointed, rather than after the roaring fit.
All in all, it is a delightfully illustrated book with just the right amount of repetitive text for storytelling. Older siblings of tantrum-throwing toddlers might enjoy it. But, I have reservations about sharing it with children who are actually in a fit throwing stage... the not-at-all-subtle messages that you need a sugary reward for being "good" and that fit throwing sometimes works are a deal breaker.
Amelia and Nilson are inseparable. They play together, eat together, and with some exceptions (Nilson is afraid of water so no baths) they're never out of one another's sight. The fact that Amelia is a little girl and Nilson a gigantic blue gorilla? Not an issue. What is an issue is the fact that Nilson has a terribly short fuse. Good thing Amelia knows exactly what to do to calm him down. Don't want to go with mom to do chores? Amelia calls them adventures instead. Nilson's getting testy waiting in line at the post office? Amelia hands him her froggy purse. It's the moment that Nilson gets the the last banana ice cream that Amelia's composure finally breaks down. Now she's the one who's upset. Fortunately, Nilson knows the perfect way to make everything right again.
When we think of the great tantrum picture books out there, the mind immediately leaps to the be all and end all of fits, When Sophie Gets Angry--Really, Really Angry... by Molly Bang. That book sort of set the standards for meltdown lit. It's simple, it gets to the point, it teaches colors (though that's more a nice bonus rather than anything else). After Sophie authors tried to come up with different unique takes on a common occurrence. Rosemary Wells came up with Kindergators: Miracle Melts Down, Robie Harris dared to discuss the unmentionable in The Day Leo Said I Hate You!. And who could forget David Elliott's truly terrifying Finn Throws a Fit!? In the end, this book is almost an older version of Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems (it involves preschooler fits rather than toddler fits, which as any parent will tell you are a different beast entirely). But part of what I like most about No Fits, Nilson! is that it sort of harkens back to the early days of Sophie. Ohora makes a metaphor out of the familiar and in doing so makes it even more understandable than it would be if his gorilla was nowhere in sight.
Ohora's previous picture book, Stop Snoring, Bernard! was a lovely book to look upon. As an artist, the man has cultivated a kind of acrylic mastery that really does a wonderful job of bringing out the personalities of his characters within a limited color palette. However, while the art in Bernard was at times beyond stunning, his storytelling wasn't quite there yet. It was all show without the benefit of substance. So it was a great deal of relief that I discovered that No Fits, Nilson! had remedied this little problem. Story wise, Ohora is within his element. He knows that there is no better way of describing a kid's tantrums than a 400-pound (or so) gorilla. Most important of all, the metaphor works. Nilson is a marvelous stand-in for Amelia, until that moment of spot-on role reversal.
As I mentioned before, the acrylics threaten to become the stars of the show more than once in this book. Limiting himself to blue, red, pink, yellow/beige and green, Ohora's is a very specific color scheme. Neo-21st century hipster. Indeed the book appears to be set in Brooklyn (though a map on one of the subways manages to crop out most of the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and half of Brooklyn, so maybe I'm reading too much into the setting). As I also mentioned before, painting beautifully is one thing, but coming up with delightful, memorable characters is what separates the RISD grads from the true picture book masters. Nilson is the one that's going to get the kids the most excited to read this book so it was important for Ohora to make him a unique blue gorilla. Not the kind of guy you'd run into on the street. To do this, Ohora chooses to accessorize. Note the three watches Nilson wears on his left arm and the three on his right. Note his snappy black beret with the yellow trim, and yellow and black sneakers. Next, the artist has to make Nilson a gorilla prone to the grumps but that is essentially lovable in spite of them. For this, Amelia is a very good counterpoint. Her sweetness counteracts Nilson's barely contained rage. Finally, Ohora throws in some tiny details to make the reading experience enjoyable for adults as well. The typography at work when the tiny words "banana ice cream" move from Amelia's mouth and eyes to Nilson's mouth and eyes is a sight to behold. Ditto the funny in-jokes on the subway (New Yorkers may be the only folks who get Ohora's "Dr. Fuzzmore" ads, and the one for the zoo is a clear cut reference to Stop Snoring, Bernard!).
Yeah, I'm a fan. Kids may be the intended audience for books like this one, but it's parents that are shelling out the cash to buy. That means you have to appeal to grown-up sensibilities as well as children's. What Ohora does so well is that he knows how to tap into an appreciation for his material on both a child and adult level. This is no mean feat. Clearly the man knows where to find the picture book sweet spot. A visual feast as well as a treat to the ear, this is a book that's going to find an audience no matter where it goes. At least it better. Otherwise I might have to sick my own 400-pound gorilla on someone, and believe me . . . you do NOT want to get him angry.
For ages 2-6.
The tough, woodcut-like acrylic paintings are fantastic and the expressions just perfect. Ohora's colour pallet is limited to blue, red, pink, yellow/beige and green. The details he includes in the pictures will keep you coming back again and again to discover something new on each re-read. His characters are extremely memorable as Nelson sports three watches that he wears on his left arm and three more attached to his right arm. He adorns himself with a black snappy cap trimmed in yellow and makes a fashion statement right down to his feet which he stuffs in trendy black sneakers. Amelia is depicted as innocent and sweet with a cute little black bob haircut.... but we soon find out how her demeanour can change in a second ... into a roaring, tyrannical monster-girl. The book will appeal to both adult and child alike which makes it a fun, fun read. It is both a visual and audio treat to behold. This is a winner indeed.
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