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Reviewed by Tiffany Ferrell for Readers' Favorite
In Nope-Nope Emu by R.C. Chizhov, we are introduced to a young girl emu whose confidence is shattered after losing a competition. Every previous year this emu won the emu-flap game. Not sure what to think, our emu comes to terms with losing by telling herself that there's no sense in trying because she’ll just lose again. Despite all of those past wins, this loss is all that Emu can think about. She stopped playing games because she was afraid of losing again. She came upon a monkey trying to climb a tree and despite her telling this little monkey that it’s not worth trying and that it’s too hard, the creature told the emu that he’d keep trying because it was what he was made to do. She later came upon a puppy and a spider who were struggling as well. They didn’t listen to her negativity and accomplished their goals. This made the emu think that maybe she gave up too soon. Sure enough, when the time came for next the emu-flap she won because she had a newfound confidence that she learned from a monkey, a puppy, and a spider.
I thought Nope-Nope Emu was an adorable read that teaches children such a great lesson. Even if you lose or you aren’t the best you shouldn’t just give up. How would you know what you are capable of if you never try? Emu wasn’t used to losing and having to pick herself up when she did lose the emu-flap contest completely took away her confidence. That happens frequently in life and even if it doesn’t feel good, it’s better to try and lose than never to try at all. We see examples of self-confidence and endurance in the three animals that the emu meets. Their unwillingness to simply give up helps the emu gain back the confidence she lost. The illustrations are beautiful and bright. They fit perfectly with the storyline and give kids a great visual perspective. I think R.C. Chizhov has done a wonderful job with this book and I can’t wait to read more of their work.