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A delightful variety of children's books

By Stephanie Snipes

Dean Koontz

(CNN) -- This season a new group of children's books will captivate families with funny, heartwarming tales of adventure, make believe and imagination.

From traveling birds to misinformed crocodiles and malfunctioning robotic Santas, there is something for everyone.

So, grab a mug of hot chocolate and a comfortable place next to the fireplace: Here are some new books that will delight and inspire.

"Guji Guji" By Chih-Yuan Chen (Kane/Miller)

A new addition to the New York Times' children's best seller list is "Guji Guji," the tale of a crocodile accidentally born into a family of ducks. Happily living with his duckling family, Guji Guji is unaware that he is different from his quacking and waddling siblings.

One day, while minding his own business, Guji Guji meets three mean crocs who try to convince the small "crocoduck" to help them make his duck family their dinner!

Author Chih-Yuan Chen is a three-time winner of the Hsin Yi Picture Book Award.

"The Day the Dog Dressed Like Dad" by Tom Amico & James Proimos (Bloomsbury)

"The Day the Dog Dressed Like Dad" tells the story of two kids whose dad has to go out of town, prompting the family dog to step up to the plate and take over the role as family patriarch. The kids are surprised to see their dog dressed in a shirt and tie, eat corn on the cob and even barbecue.

Friends and co-authors Tom Amico and James Proimos came up with the idea for "The Day the Dog Dressed Like Dad" when the duo realized they, too, had started dressing like their dads. Amico is one of the creative forces behind the AFLAC duck, and Proimos is the author and illustrator of the Johnny Mutton series books.


"Robot Santa" by Dean Koontz (HarperCollins)

The sequel to Dean Koontz's holiday tale "Santa's Twin," "Robot Santa" tells the story of the Claus' family's black sheep son Bob -- Santa's brother. A year after his last adventure (kidnapping Santa), Bob is back with a new robot, "Super Santa One," that Bob hopes will speed up Santa's delivery time. Unfortunately, several loose screws cause major malfunctions in the ultimate toy delivery machine.

"Where is CoCo Going?" by Sloane Tanen (Bloomsbury)

In her children's book debut, Coco the chicken takes a grand adventure around the globe. From camel rides across the desert to swimming through the ocean, nothing will get in the way of Coco and her final destination.

Author Sloane Tanen first introduced her chickens in "Bitter With Baggage Seeks Same: The Life and Times of Some Chickens," an adult-themed book that shows plastic chickens complaining about life's common aggravations -- like full yoga classes and counting calories.


"The End of the Beginning: Being the Adventures of a Small Snail (And Even Smaller Ant) by Avi (Harcourt)

"The End of the Beginning" tells the story of Avon the snail, who is ready for a big adventure. With Edward the ant by his side, Avon heads out on a grand journey to see what the world has to offer. Along the way, the tiny duo meets all sorts of creatures, including a dragon.

Avi is a winner of the acclaimed Newbery Medal for the year's best children's book, which he won for "Crispin: The Cross of Lead." His other works include "The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle."

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