Being a responsible kid has its rewards.

First, there’s the feel-good; you did well, and you can be proud of yourself. That leads to the second benefit: adults see your responsibility, and you’ll have earned their trust. And in the new book “Little Shaq: Star of the Week” by Shaquille O’Neal, illustrated by Theodore Taylor III, there are other bonuses, too.

It was Friday, and Little Shaq was excited but not because it was almost the weekend. He was excited because it was Walter’s last day as their class’s Star of the Week, and Little Shaq was sure he’d be chosen next. Part of the job was taking care of Flopsy, the class rabbit, but that wasn’t what Little Shaq looked most forward to. He thought Show and Tell was the best part of being Star of the Week.

For months, Little Shaq had been saving things to “show.”

When Mrs. Terpenny announced his name, Little Shaq was happy but nervous, too; his first important task was to take Flopsy home, and that was a big responsibility. But when Little Shaq noticed a poster about a Pet Fair in the neighborhood, he had an idea: maybe, if he did a good job with Flopsy, his parents would finally let him get a pet.

For awhile, Little Shaq had been asking for a kitten of his own; all his friends had dogs or cats, and he loved animals. But then his mother pointed out that he needed to be reminded to do his chores and make his bed. How could he be responsible for a pet when he was so irresponsible with everything else?

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