and the Magic Pebble 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 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. :)
This book was awarded a Newbery Honor AND a Caldecott Honor! It is one of our all-time favorite books, and truly stands the test of time. Your kids will love it!
Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 2
D.R.A. Level: 30-34
Lexile Measure: AD700L
Below are two sample spreads from inside this adorable book. Oh how we love William Steig's illustration style. Perhaps it's because it reminds us of our childhood :) and draws to mind Shrek, The Magic Bone, Dr. DeSoto... Steig is a treasure!
Related Activity: Warning
Label for the Pebble
Here's a fun writing activity to do following reading Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. At the end of the book, Sylvester's dad put the iron pebble in an iron safe to prevent something similar happening again. Tell you students that Sylvester's dad needs help making a Magic Pebble Warning Label because the next person who opens the safe needs to know about the pebble's magic powers. This will be a good check for reading comprehension and give the students some practice writing and describing things. (The empty box is where they draw the--yes--pebble!)
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