Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
This story portrays a heartwarming message of the importance of family. A young donkey finds a magic pebble and dreams of all the good wishes he can make. On his way home, he meets a lion and makes a wish to turn into a rock so the lion can’t hurt him. Once he is a rock, he can’t reach the pebble to turn back into a donkey. Sylvester’s family finds the pebble the next year and place it on Sylvester so he can make another wish to return back to normal. The story illustrates the sorrow of Sylvester’s parents, uses great symbology to demonstrate the loneliness of Sylvester when he is a rock and highlights the joy of Sylvester returning to his family at the end. It is an excellent fictional choice for a grade 2/3 class read aloud, as the vocabulary is interesting and allows for great opportunities for inferring. Critical thinking can be encouraged through discussion around Sylvester making different wishes or the causes and effects that are prevalent throughout the narrative. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble uses great illustrations portraying all the characters as animals, engaging and interesting the younger readers.
Recommended as an excellent read!
Genre: Children’s Picture Books, Fiction, Drama
Themes: acceptance, importance of family
Who Would Like This Book? Students in Grades 1 to 4
Reading Ability: Grade 2/3