Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

 Sylvester and
the Magic Pebble
by William Steig

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reading levels, and more

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
The story starts simply enough. A young donkey is out looking for pebbles for his collection and stumbles across a shiny, red, perfectly round pebble. He discovers it's a magic pebble that will grant

his every wish, but before he is able to come up with his wishes, he runs into a scary lion, panics, and wishes he was a rock so that he wouldn't be in danger. Poof, he becomes a rock and the lion soon departs. But as a rock, he can no longer hold onto the pebble so he can't wish himself back to being a donkey. He's stuck.

As night falls and days pass, his worried parents desperately look for him, but as the seasons pass and they can't find him, they try to accept that he is gone forever. And Sylvester tries to accept his new life as a rock.

The students in my class (Cindy's) were riveted when I read this book--just so worried that Sylvester would have to stay a pebble forever. In the end, he does switch back (we won't give away how) and he realizes that he doesn't need magical wishes. Back at home with his mom and dad, he has everything he could ever want and need. :)

Teachers: If you are looking for related activities & lesson ideas to go with this book, please click here: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble lesson ideas, etc

Book Details

Reading Statistics
Interest Level:     K-Grade 2
Reading Level:    ages 4-8
D.R.A. Level:      30-34
Lexile Measure:  AD700L

Great for teaching
having gratitude for what you have (Char Ed)

Awards & Rating
Newbery Honor Book  
Caldecott Honor Book
Avg Reader Rating:
4.5 stars (66 reviews)
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

Peek Inside
Below are two spreads from inside this book.  While this is certainly not a new book, the illustrations still hold up. Steig's little donkey family is so endearing that kids get wrapped up in the story and root for little Sylvester to return home safely. The spreads below also give an indication of the general amount of text on the pages. In the first set of spreads below, Sylvester's parents are desperate with worry and running all around their little town looking for their lost boy. They ask friends, authorities, neighbors, and wait and wait.

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

This set of spreads shows poor Sylvester as a rock, all alone and presumably doomed to live the rest of his life that way. The spread on the right shows Sylvesters sad parents on a picnic, unknowingly using him as a resting place.  

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

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