Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

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Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Cm magic pebble.jpg
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Author William Steig
Illustrator William Steig
Country United States
Genre Children's picture book
Publisher Windmill Books
Publication date
September 24, 1969
ISBN 0-671-66269-4
OCLC 6087743

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is a children's picture book written and illustrated by William Steig. It earned him the Caldecott Medal (1970), his first of many Caldecott and Newbery Medal honors.[1] 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 finds 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 wish-maker 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.[2]


  1. ^ American Library Association: Caldecott Medal Winners, 1938 - Present. URL accessed 27 May 2009.
  2. ^ "Banned Books". Archived from the original on October 6, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship
Caldecott Medal recipient
Succeeded by
A Story a Story