The Little Engine That Could by Walter Mitty and Loren Long

When a train packed with toys and food for children becomes stranded on the wrong side of the mountain, the toys onboard try to get help from passing trains like the Shiny New Engine and the Big Strong Engine — to no avail.

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Number One Sam by Greg Pizzoli

Sam is used to being the top dog, so to speak, on the race track. Then one day, an unexpected loss threatens to derail his winning streak and — more disastrously — his relationship with his friends. Only when faced with a moral dilemma does he finally realise that losing a race is small potatoes compared to doing the right thing and winning the respect of his friends.

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Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry

At some point in life, one comes to the realisation that sometimes, it’s not just about what you know, but also who you know. Thus, nurturing good relationships with the people you meet is always a good idea, especially since you never know when you’ll need their help.

Case in point: the eponymous protagonist in Little Blue Truck, who takes time to exchange friendly greetings — “Beep!” — with all the various animals he meets along the way.

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Firefighters! Speeding! Spraying! Saving! by Patricia Hubbell and Viviana Garofoli

firefighters

Firefighters: Speeding! Spraying! Saving! is a great book for children to learn about what firemen do, taking them through a complete and rather detailed cycle of what happens when there’s a fire — from the firemen leaving the fire station to what they do to put out the fire and rescue the people who may be trapped; finally, it even shows the exhausted firemen heading back to the station to rest before the next emergency.

The simple, rhyming prose (with ‘sound effects’!) is pleasant for parents to read and easy enough for the little ones to understand.