Every morning, my wee one helps me out by putting her clothes in the dirty laundry and cleaning up her toys. I don't know why she is eager to help out around the house, but I like to encourage that behavior in hopes of prolonging it into a lifelong habit.

Ella the elephant is in the same boat. In Carmela and Steven D'Amico's Ella Takes the Cake ($12), the kind-hearted soul offers to help her mother in every which way, but her mom keeps her doing menial tasks. Seeing an opportunity to lend a helping hand, the capable girl takes it upon herself to deliver a three-tiered cake via bicycle to her mother's client across town. Through trials and tribulations, the delightful Ella makes good on her promise while proving that she can handle more responsibility.