copyright 1969 William Steig. Simon & Schuster. children's picture book, ages 4-7.

Sylvester Duncan is an inquisitive young donkey who enjoys collecting rocks. One day he finds an interesting shiny red pebble which grants the wishes of the person holding it. But then there is a lion! Startled, Sylvester wishes he were a rock, leaving the lion baffled and dinnerless, and leaving Sylvester shit out of luck, as one must be touching the pebble to wish on it. He is a rock for good.

Much time passes - the seasons change around the rock of Sylvester. His parents mourn their disappeared son, while Sylvester sadly tries to make the best of being a rock.

Eventually his parents go for a picnic on Strawberry Hill, where their rockified son lives, and they happen to pick a spot near him. The pebbles lying all around only depress his parents further. His father picks up a particularly nice one, shiny and red, and says,  "Gee, Sylvester would have loved this one."   Reverently he lays it atop a nearby rock and POOF SHAZAM IT'S ME IT'S ME SYLVESTER YOUR LOVING SON!

A cute book, both text and illustrations are worthwhile, and William Steig did both. He was in his sixties when he decided to start writing books for kids. This was his third one, and is often considered to be his best. It won the 1970 Caldecott Medal, and so far has sold over 500,000 copies.

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