No Fits, Nilson! is a brilliant book that helps kids to recognise that tantrums are unnecessary, by giving them an objective, third-person perspective of the situation in the form of a sweet and entertaining story about a little girl Amelia who is best friends with Nilson the gorilla.
Everything is fine and dandy most of the time, except when Nilson throws the biggest fits over the tiniest things — something that many toddlers are apt to do.
Thankfully, Amelia understands Nilson well and has some tricks up her sleeve to help him calm down, although they don’t always work. But one day, when it’s Amelia’s turn to throw a fit, Nilson is the one who manages to cool her down — literally, with some ice-cream.
The illustrations of the tantrum-throwing gorilla/child are fantastic and, sadly, rather true-to-life for any parent who has had to deal with a toddler of similar temperament who can morph from an angel to a little monster in seconds.
I loved how the author cleverly chose to allow Amelia and Nilson to mostly deal with the tantrums on their own, without adult intervention, by taking turns to be the ‘grown-up’ in each situation; in fact, the mom is either absent or just a bystander in many instances.
The book also skilfully balances the terrible tantrums with scenes of Amelia and Nilson being thoughtful and well-behaved, which kinda reinforces the idea to kids that behaviour is a conscious decision, and that they, too, can choose to be reasonable and sweet instead of the unpleasant alternative. The twist at the end is a nice touch too.