Book Review: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble written and illustrated by William Steig is a story with a great lesson. It was awarded the Caldecott Medal, an award for the best illustrations in a children’s book. Although it is a great book, it made the banned book list in a few states in the 70s because police officers were depicted as pigs. Despite that unnecessary banning, this is a book loved by many children and adults.

This book centers around Sylvester, a donkey, who loves to collect pebbles. One day, he comes across a red magical pebble. The pebble grants wishes.

If you know anything about stories where wishes are granted, you know that having your wishes granted goes well at first, but then the wishes tend to take a turn for the worst. In this particular case, fear causes Sylvester to quickly make a wish where he probably wished he would have thought before he took action.

This story not only focuses on the consequences of Sylvester’s wish on him, but it also focuses on the pain and sorrow caused for his mom and dad because of his wish and how they had to figure out how to pick up the pieces of their lives after the wish.

I have read this story to kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students, and students from every grade were captivated by the story. They can’t figure out how this story would end based on the final wish Sylvester made. If you want to learn about Sylvester’s wishes, check out this book.

Rating: 4.5/5

Scholastic Book WizardGrades K-3
Guided Reading LevelM
Accelerated Reader Level4.0

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