Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
|Genre||Children's picture book|
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is a children's picture book written and illustrated by William Steig. It won him the Caldecott Medal (1970), his first of many Caldecott and Newbery Medal honors. It tells the tale of Sylvester, a donkey from the fictional community of Oatsdale, who collects pebbles "of unusual shape and color." One day he happens to come across a pebble that grants wishes. Immediately afterward, a lion scares Sylvester, and as a defense he wishes himself into a rock, the only thing he could think of at the moment. Unfortunately, the magic pebble falls off the rock, and Sylvester is unable to revert to his donkey form as the pebble must be in contact with the wisher to work. The rest of the story deals with the resulting aftermath: Sylvester's personal attempt to change back into his true self and his parents' search for their only son.
The book raised controversy among several school districts and organizations for its portrayal of the police as pigs (although anthropomorphic pigs were shown in other professions), and as a result was banned in parts of the United States.
The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship
|Caldecott Medal recipient
A Story a Story
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