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Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
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Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  26,917 ratings  ·  635 reviews
One rainy day, Sylvester finds a magic pebble that can make wishes come true. But when a lion frightens him on his way home, Sylvester makes a wish that brings unexpected results.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 1988 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1969)
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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Best Children's Books
109th out of 3,076 books — 4,597 voters
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakMake Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskeyThe Snowy Day by Ezra Jack KeatsThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
Caldecott Medal Winners
6th out of 77 books — 285 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Marc Macaspac
May 28, 2008 Marc Macaspac rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young children and everyone else
Recommended to Marc by: a review in the childrens book club
When I was five years old in 1974, I read a childrens book review and noticed a nice review for this book. I also liked the fact that there was a gold medallion on the top right corner, which signified that it was the Caldecott award winner for 1970. I didn't know exactly what that meant at the time, but I did know at that age that if you were awarded something gold that it meant it was really good.
I asked my parents if I could order it through my kindergarten class book club, but they declined
Ben Loory
this book is probably the single largest influence on my own writing.

strange, but true.

never far from my mind.
This was my favorite read of the day by far. Something I picked up because it's a Caldecott award winner. Although the pictures were cute, I didn't necessarily think that they should have been awarded the Caldecott. But the story more than made up for it. Perhaps, growing up with Richard Scary books read to me, I'm spoiled when it comes to animals dressed up as people telling stories. In any case, still a wonderful read. Not something I'd recommend for preschoolers, as my 2 yr old twins, almost ...more
Wonderful book. William Steig is an oddball writer in the best sense of the term, like a quirky grandfather dialing into kid-wavelength as only a few genius story-tellers can do. His vocabulary is as demanding as the themes he evokes.

I read this with my 5-year-old grandson yesterday — 3 times. On the first pass we simply absorbed the story. Both of us were worried and sad during the extended middle section of the story, then gratified by the happy outcome at the end. On the second pass my grand
Robyn Simmons
Dec 04, 2008 Robyn Simmons rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: primary readers
Sylvester the donkey spends his time finding pebbles. One day he finds a magic pebble that grants all of his wishes. The pebble even saves him from being eaten by a lion! Sylvester decided to turn himself into a rock in efforts to camouflage himself. Once he truns himslef into a rock, he can not transform himself back into a horse. He disappears for seasons. One spring day, his parents find him and help him to transform back into a donkey. This is a cute story for primary grades. It is entertain ...more
My son earns pebbles for making good choices and we display his earned good choice pebbles in a pretty glass bowl in the kitchen for everyone to, a book about a magic pebble was fun for him because he had a personal connection :).

Beautiful watercolor illustrations. Meaningful story about what matters most in life, family. A must read for all!
Be careful when you make a wish. It could cause you a lot of problems. That's what Sylvester the donkey finds out when he finds a magic pebble. He is imagining all the wonderful wishes he will make when a lion appears. Sylvester is so frightened that he doesn't stop to think before he makes a wish and turns himself into a stone. The pebble falls to the ground beside him and he is stuck. He needs to be holding the pebble to make a wish come true. Since he is now a stone, he can't pick up the pebb ...more
“Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” is one of William Steig’s earlier books and has proven to be the most emotional and heartwarming of all of his books. Also, this was William Steig’s first controversial book due to the image of the police being portrayed as pigs, even though I do not think that it is an issue because all the characters are animals, but it depends on how you view this issue. Anyway, William Steig’s dramatic storyline and illustrations has won this book a Caldecott Book Award and w ...more
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
By William Steig

Taditional Literature Picture Book

Summary: While collecting rocks one day, Sylvester finds a magic pebble that grants wishes. On his way home from the water Sylvester finds himself face-to-face with a lion, when he wishes to be turned into a rock. A year goes by before Sylvester's parents find him, after his Dad inadvertanly wishes on the same magic pebble.

A) William Steig's story is one of misfortune- where Sylvester turns himself into a rock after
"Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" is about a donkey named Sylvester who collects pebbles as a hobby. One rainy day, Sylvester finds an extraordinary red pebble that he soon discovers is magical. When he wishes that the rain would stop, it immediately stops. He discovers that any wish he makes while holding the pebble will come true. On his way home, he comes across a lion that frightens him so much that he wishes he is a rock. Soon thereafter he discovers he cannot wish himself back into a donkey ...more
Lisa Vegan
Nov 23, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Chandra
I read a Simon & Schuster hardcover edition with this cover and ISBNs, but it looks as though the publication date is 1997 and it’s the restored deluxe edition with color corrections made from the watercolor originals, the illustrations looking just as Steig intended them to appear, and it also contains the text of the author/illustrator’s Caldecott Award acceptance speech, and I really enjoyed reading that speech.

I love the watercolor drawings. They’re really beautiful and expressive.

Corby Lancaster
Genre- Picture book

Reading Level- K-3

Topic and Theme- Sylvester finds a magic pebble and makes wishes and they come true. The magic of love

Curricula Use- Read Aloud

Social- Wishing for things. Family is the best wish.

Literary Element- Sylvester finds a magic pebble is able to wish for anything he wants.

Text and Pictures- The text and pictures go together to tell the story.

Summary- "Sylvester and The Magic Pebble" is an excellent story that shows sometimes everything that you could possibly want
I re-read this classic children's storybook for a group of second-graders with whom I work in a public school. As soon as I spotted the cover, it brought back fond memories of the tale I first read as a child.

Silvester is a donkey who collects stones and pebbles. One rainy day he finds an unusual pebble down by a stream and finds it has magical qualities. Trouble comes on his way home, when fear prompts a foolish wish that keeps him from returning to his worried parents. Only a chance encounter
Mary Lou Carolan
How does an innocent animal story of a donkey who finds a magic pebble that grants his wishes, end up on a challenged book list? When it is written in the late 1960's and pictures pigs in cop uniforms. Interestingly enough, the next door neighbor pig, dressed in pajamas, who helps to look for Sylvester is never mentioned in the challenge. Ultimately, this is a gentle story of a donkey who mistakenly makes a wish that turns him into a rock and how his loving and distraught parents, manage to brea ...more
Kodi Jones
This book begins and ends with pebbles scattered on the pages, which is an indicator of theme of the book. The pebble is seen throughout the story, which you see in every picture. Sylvester disappears and his parents look for him. While Sylvester is mission, so is the pebble. Sylvester stays as a rock, because he cannot pick up the magic pebble to wish himself back into a donkey. When Sylvester’s parents find the pebble they also find Sylvester. By seeing the pebble on the page again might indic ...more
I actually do not love this book. I know it is a Caldecott medal winner, but I just cannot get into the storyline. I feel like it is too wordy and a very flat storyline. The animals are not cute or fuzzy. It does have a nice message however. A young horse names Sylvester loves collecting stones when one day he finds a magic stone. On his way home to show off his magic stone, he runs into a lion and makes a bad decision by being safe by turning himself into a rock. A year goes by and his family i ...more
Loved this picture book. Adorable drawings and sweet little story.
Bao Chau
magic pebble could be a great book for young children in class. because it could be a life lesson for little kids that not listen to the parent. one day, Sylvester ran out the door and go to the forest tot play, he found the magic pebble that make his wishes come true. walk along the forest, he saw the lion. when the lion frighten, he wished become a big rock. so the result doesn't come out like the way he expect. day by day, he didn't come home. so his parent was searching around for him but no ...more
Elizabeth Menchaca
On a stormy day a shinny red pebble caught Sylvester's eye, he was not enjoying the gloomy weather and while holding the pebble he wished for the rain to go away and to his surprise it did. After discovering the magical abilities this beautiful red pebble possessed he became excited to share the news with his family. While walking to tell tell his parents what he had found he ran into a hungry lion. Sylvester panicked and without thinking clearly he wished himself into a rock, it got rid of the ...more
Hannah Wolf
In this story Sylvester is a donkey who finds a magic pebble that can do anything that he wishes. When he told the pebble to rain, it did. Sylvester was so excited he found something so magical he couldn't believe it. When he is walking home he runs into a lion and he is in such shock that he wishes he was a rock. He then turns into a rock and the lion goes away. But when he wishes to turn himself back into a donkey it doesn't work because he is not touching the pebble. His parents going searchi ...more
Madison Ryffel
Sylvester hobby was collecting pebbles until one day he came upon a magic pebble that will grant all of his wishes. Sylverster decides to turn himself into a rock then realized that he was not able to turn himself back into a donkey. As the seasons went by nobody was able to find him. One afternoon, Sylvester parents soon decided to go on a picnic, which resulted in Mrs. Duncan (Sylvester’s mom) sitting on a rock that ended up because Sylvester. As the picnic continued, Mr. Duncan found the shin ...more
Jordan Traylor
Sylvester the donkey discovers a magical pebble on a rainy day, and wishes on it that he would turn into a rock when a hungry lion approached him. When he actually does turn into a rock he realizes he is no longer able to hold onto the magic pebble and is not able to wish himself back to normal. Sylvester's family starts to miss him, and they never knew what happened to him. The next spring, his family decides to go on a picnic and it just happens to be on the rock that is now Sylvester. Sylvest ...more
This book was adorable! It was about a Donkey named Sylvester who loved collecting pebbles! One day he was out on a rainy day and found a beautiful red shiny pebble. He was holding the pebble and wished that it would stop raining and it suddenly did! He was amazed and thought that the pebble must be magic, to test it out he wished that it would start raining again, when he put the pebble in his hoof it started again! Sylvester was so excited and couldn't wait to get home to show his parents and ...more
Abby Spiel
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is one of my childhood favorites! Sylvester the donkey has a passion for collecting pebbles. He tells his parents one day that he is going out to search for more pebbles when he runs into something magical! Sylvester finds a red pebble, picks it up, wishes for the rain to stop and coincidentally, or not so coincidentally, the rain stops. He finds out that the pebble has special powers, but Sylvester doesn't exactly know how to use them the right way. He runs into a ...more
Lindsay Fischer
This is the story about a curious donkey and a precious stone. The Sylvester is sitting by a river in the rain when he finds a fiery red stone that magically grants wishes. While enjoying the stone's powers, he accidentally turns himself into a rock. His parents search for him everywhere, but cannot find him. They are very sad and after a month of nonstop searching, they decide to accept the sad truth: their son is not coming back. While on a picnic on a hill, his parents find the stone and set ...more
Brooke Snyder
Summary: A donkey named Sylvester collected pebbles. One day, Sylvester came across a remarkable, flaming red, shiny pebble—so, he picked it up. While holding it, he made a wish.. “I wish it would stop raining.” To Sylvester’s dismay, it stopped raining. Wow! He wanted to share the news with his parents so he started home. On his walk home, he came across a mean lion. Shocked and scared, Sylvester wishes himself to become a rock. But, he was stuck. Months went by and his parents were worried sic ...more
Brooke Unger
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, an award winning Caldecott book, was a beautifully illustrated children's book about a Donkey who finds a magic pebble and through events finds himself as a rock waiting for his parents to find him and wish him back. I think what made this book enjoyable for me was how detailed every picture was throughout the story. I enjoyed looking at all the little intricate details to each picture like the patterns of the clothes they were wearing or the expressions on the ch ...more
Daniele Merrick
One day Sylvester, a donkey, finds a magic pebble and through a twist and turn of events, Sylvester ends up turning into a rock through the pebble. His family starts to get worried that he is not coming home and decide to go looking for him, but as they do, they run into the place that he is, but have no idea because he is still a rock. When that happens, Sylvester realizes how much his mother and father care about him and all he wants to do is go back to normal, but he cannot find the pebble! I ...more
Anna Summers
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is about a young donkey, Sylvester, who uses his magic pebble to turn himself into a rock so that he won’t get eaten by a lion. Sylvester’s parents miss him terribly. Out of sheer luck, Sylvester turns back into a donkey and reunites with his family. The author, William Steig, uses some interesting word choices, such as “perplexed” and “bewildered”. He also uses compound and complex sentences which are lengthy and somewhat difficult to read. Although the message an ...more
Stephanie Winchester
A story written and illustrated by William Steig, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, is a wonderfully crafted story that tells the story of a young donkey that collects pebbles. In this particular story, Sylvester lives in the imagenery town of Oatsdale and only collects pebbles that are uncommon. In his adventures to find unusual rocks Sylvester finds one that grants his wishes. Eventually, he encounters a lion that scares Sylvester into turning himself into a rock. The pebble falls off the rock a ...more
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William Steig was born in New York City in 1907. In a family where every member was involved in the arts, it was not surprising that Steig became an artist.

He published his first children's book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968, embarking on a new and very different career.

Steig's books reflect his conviction that children want the security of a devoted family and friends. When Sylvester, Farmer
More about William Steig...
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“I wish I were a rock,' he said, and he became a rock.” 0 likes
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