William Steig (part 1)

As I’m sure you know, I love older books. Vintage and retro illustrations are favorites and the simple goodness of those stories just make me happy. I also get a thrill whenever I read a book that triggers a memory from childhood. 

I know that my brother and I had this book as kids. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is the story of a donkey foal who finds a pebble that grants wishes. Unfortunately, he makes a wish that causes him to become a boulder and his parents don’t know how to find him.  As a kid, it never occurred to me that real kids actually do disappear. I had no idea how scary this situation would actually be for parents. I love this book so much that I decided to read more books by William Steig.

Brave Irene is about a little girl who must deliver the gown her mother has made for the Duchess, despite a terrible snow storm. She fights her way over the mountain and wins the admiration of everyone at the palace.

Pete’s a Pizza is a cute story about a father cheering up his son with silliness. Steig has other books that play with words, C D B? (See the Bee?) and C D C? (See the Sea?) but I don’t have them at school. 

Yellow & Pink is an interesting book. The two wooden dolls wake up in a sunny field with no idea how they got there. Pink thinks they must have been made by a higher power, but Yellow argues that it could have happened by chance. I’m thinking Steig is religious because Yellow’s rationalizations aren’t super convincing. The best part is at the end when they come face to face with their creator and don’t recognize him for what he is. Steig may have been trying to tell us something with this one.


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