Alex loves his mother very much and today is her birthday. He bundles up and sets out to find a job. He'll try anything to earn enough money for a present: bang his saucepan to the beat with street musicians, wash a car, anything!-until he discovers the perfect present to bring home to her . . .
It's very difficult to be the youngest, littlest one in the family. Yurchyk's sister and brother are too old to play with him now; they prefer to do other things. And his parents are too busy. His companion is just a puppy, a little dog named Klapovukh. Yurchyk's father says that being big isn't just about growing taller but about doing big things! It takes courage to do big things: Is little Yurchyk brave enough?
Matthew lives in an orphanage. He wanted a dog. He received other gifts and things through the years - stuffed animals, toys, snails, even lice - but never a dog. One day Matthew was finally getting new parents, and what did the parents have for him -- a dog.
Grandpa had 27 grandchildren, who all loved him, and shared the mangoes he brought home every day. Grandpa and mangoes always brightened the day. But grandpa was getting sick, losing his memory and the ability to even cut the mangoes. He was slowly leaving his grandchildren.
Mommy, Daddy, and Dorothy's brother, Martin, all wear glasses. But not Dorothy. She knows that glasses make people see better, and she wants to see better, too. Never mind that she can see perfectly without them. She feels like an outsider in her own family, and so she draws glasses on her face and on all her toys. But when she tries on her Daddy's glasses, she gets a big surprise!
Both Mum and Dad work in offices, but it's hard for a very little boy to understand what they DO all day, and why they're SO tired when they get home and can only play for a little while. With the help of his grandmother, who takes care of him, our young narrator tries to experience their workaday world, day after day, at home in a pretend office . . . and he gets really, really tired, too. . . .
When Jimmy's mother brings home a bag of five beautiful oranges, he wants to keep them all for himself. But his instinct to share with his family and friends is too strong to resist - until he has no oranges left at all! This day, Jimmy will learn a lot about the gift of generosity.
Times are hard for Mommy, Daddy, and Ivan. They live in a tiny apartment and only have room for an imaginary dog, Ronny, who behaves badly--especially at night. They love him, anyway. One day they are able to move to a larger apartment and have room for The Real Ronny! A real dog! He's wonderful, of course. And they love him. But sometimes you can't help missing the things you left behind.
Mary wants to play with her friends Clara and Ana, but they're playing with their dolls, and Mary doesn't have a doll. Her mother suggests that she make one using wool and cotton and other things that they have around the house. So Mary makes a beautiful doll, but then she realizes: Her doll has to breathe, and how will it sneeze? What can she use for her lovely doll's nose?