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This heartwarming book explains how our work will be our best when we do something we love, and that’s why they become “talented” at it. Maxine, the corgi, asks different working dogs why they came to do what they do. The answer is that they love it. Yet, despite her enthusiasm, it becomes clear that Maxine is mostly talented at getting herself into funny situations, which leads to an even funnier conclusion as she finally discovers her true calling. The illustrations are appealing, and the text is well-written, with the book itself being colorful and fun to read and enjoy. Our children worry sometimes about what they’ll do for their careers, and so we’ve tried to divert their attention back to identifying what they love doing (and thus become talented at doing that). This book is an excellent way to help children learn why (and how) to do just that.

This is a fun (and funny) book, with colorful, engaging illustrations, which tells a brief story of a bison who doesn’t want to take a bath, leading to her sneaking out, which leads her to get even more dirty (and covered in sticky bubble gum), and so on. After she learns a bit more about cause-and-effect, she learns that the town’s water supply has been cut off. Can she use what she learned about cause-and-effect to discover why? Cause and effect is not only the basis of every good story, it’s also one of the key things we all need to learn (along with good hygiene). This enjoyable book offers a playful way for kids to learn more about these two essential concepts.

This is an entertaining children’s book made for reading and re-reading — just ask my kids, who love to read it over and over. In it, an HR-minded sheep and cow, surrounded by sleeping animals, decide they need to hire a new rooster who will wake everyone each day. Their applicants are… less than ideal. What has their rooster been doing, instead? And how can everyone pull together to get the farm back on track, and doing things they love and excel at (instead of a full slate HR duties)? I love that this delightful book helps my kids to realize that everyone can (and should) help out around the farm, I mean, house.

This wonderful book features remarkably charming illustrations of a cute yet chaotic dinosaur’s birthday party, set alongside comparatively staid and straightforward instructions on birthday party etiquette. The sweet, pastel images are divine — colorful, with organic lines, and a sense of playful enjoyment that is outstanding in this year’s range of children books. Not only that, it teaches children what to expect at birthday parties, and how to behave properly while having fun.

This is another entry in the series about the weird and fun things that particular animals do. In this case, it’s parrotfish, who have a sort of beak made of many teeth, create mucus cocoons for themselves to sleep in (yuck), and eat rocky corals — with some (very) surprising results. The book is both surprising, in not only what results from all that parrotfish poop, but also in the witty banter that the parrotfish explains his unique abilities to a friendly hammerhead shark (who, it turns out, has some helpful and amazing talents of its own). It’s a fun and funny way to present these intriguing facts about the animal kingdom. I think this engaging series is a must-have for any library with a children’s section.

This charming series helps explain the life cycle of robins, which we see every morning, looking for worms on our front lawn. My kids enjoyed reading about them and their lives, and they enjoy pretending to be robins by following the circular vignettes on each which illustrate children acting out the different things that robins do.