Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

A lot of objects in the world have the power to grant wishes.  Magic lamps.  Shooting stars.  In William Steig’s book, it’s a pebble.

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is one of William Steig’s many children’s books with his signature illustrations that have delighted children for ages.  Sylvester Duncan finds a magic pebble one day.  He realizes that it makes wishes come true, but when a lion frightens him he makes a sudden wish and finds himself in a very peculiar predicament.  Once a donkey, now a rock, he’s helpless to do anything.  His parents search for him everywhere, but cannot find him.  It seems Sylvester is lost to them forever – until one day they picnic right beside Sylvester the rock and his father finds the magic pebble.

William Steig puts his animals into human clothing and houses which are sure to make kids smile and laugh with glee.  Mr. Duncan smokes a pipe and reads the paper as Mrs. Duncan sweeps the floor.  The idea of donkeys sitting in chairs and wearing reading glasses is enough to make parents laugh right along with their kids.  Steig does a wonderful job with little details from the tablecloth in Sylvester’s house to the single tear Mrs. Duncan sheds when they can’t find their son.

The story may worry some kids when Sylvester isn’t found right away.  Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is a touching book and the excitement quickly builds back up when they picnic right beside him.  Children 4-8 will be glad to see Sylvester and the Magic Pebble ends happily and Sylvester has everything he could ever wish for.

sylvester and the magic pebble

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