Tuesday, January 7, 2014

No Fits, Nelson - a book review

Quote of the day: 
      " Never loan a book to someone if you expect to get it back." 

Title:  No Fits, Nelson
Author/Illustrator:  Zachariah Ohora
Ages:  3-7

Amelia, the little ferocious heroine of the book, has a best friend who is a mammoth, blue gorilla.  His name is Nelson and they are very, very close indeed.  They do everything together and are inseparable.  One day by mistake she knocks over his building blocks and he erupts with the "biggest, most house shaking-est fit ever!!!' Amelia steps in as his comforter, mentor and "mother".  She helps poor Nelson to regain his composure on many occasions after that outburst.  She offers him her precious froggy purse to hold onto while standing in a very long, sluggish post office line-up; she uses her best stare down "with a gorilla eye lock, repeating the words banana ice cream over and over," until he has calmed himself down.  Now what gorilla wouldn't calm down for that reward?  The irony of it all is when Nelson finally gets to have his ice cream, it's Amelia who loses control and throws a temper tantrum.  Nelson graciously gives up his beloved flavour and accepts chocolate ice cream instead to make her feel better and to comfort her.

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.

About the author/illustrator:

Zachariah OHora is an award winning illustrator. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers and has been recognized by theSociety of IllustratorsAmerican Illustration,Communication ArtsAIGA and Print Magazine.
His debut book “Stop Snoring Bernard!”(Henry Holt) was the PA One Book choice for 2012 and won the Society of Illustrators Founders Award for 2011. His latest book “No Fits Nilson!” (Dial) received a Kirkus Star and was included in the 2013 SOI Original Art Show. He is hard at work on his next picture book “My Cousin Momo” (Winter 2015) about a flying squirrel who is reluctant to show off his talent. He is also illustrating two books for Little, Brown -“Wolfie the Bunny” and “Horrible Bear” both written by Ame Dyckman.

                          Book Review Rating:   8 (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!  
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