They all had all that they wanted

I have been floating along on the waves of interesting and thought-provoking (and kind!) comments, and while I was planning to write a post on bare butts in picture books (be sure to look for this fascinating soon!), instead this happy, goofy feeling impels me to post about this:


There is so much to love about this book. We've read it all together many times when Chestnut and Diana were little, but not so much lately, and now that it has magically re-entered my head I am going to rectify that right away. It's just so moving. Sylvester, a rather dreamy donkey, panics and makes an error in judgment. He suffers greatly as a result (though the book never scolds him but rather understands what it feels like all too well), and then, just when things seem like they'll never get better [SPOILER ALERT], everyone is together again! With a secret and completely non-irritating message about greed and what's important. And the heartfelt gladness this engenders is perfectly communicated, as follows.


Just thinking about this book pleases me no end.
And thank you all for your comments and book suggestions; keep them coming! I'm starting a queue (sp?) on our library's web site, and all your suggestions are finding their way there.

8 thoughts on “They all had all that they wanted

  1. Who is the author of this one. It’s really hard to find children’s books in my library by title for some reason.
    Also, I’m dying to hear about bare butts in picture books, I don’t think that I have experienced this yet.


  2. Just wanted to say… I’m here from Finslippy, and I’m HOOKED. I love this site. I have a daughter who is 15 months old and already loves to read with me… I’m hoping she’ll be a bit of a bookworm like I was.
    Thanks for all the great reviews and guidance!


  3. Oh, I love Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, and most of the William Steig books. The Dr DeSoto ones are great too but our library has been getting rid of them, for some reason. I just picked one up in the remainder bin for a dollar!!
    In my head, I have Sylvester in the same category as the very funny Mud Flat books by James Stevenson. They also use advanced vocabulary and a straightforward tone to tell the story.
    (BTW, I came from Finslippy and I knew when I saw your title that I’d love the blog. The Diamond in the Window was one of my all time favourites as a child and I still have my old copy. If only my name were Trebor Nosnibor, I’d really have amounted to something, I think.)


  4. Jessi: this is by William Steig, who wrote about a million amazing children’s books (especially great are Amos and Boris, and Dr. DeSoto.


  5. There is a really great telling of this story on Between the Lions or Reading Rainbow… or both. I can’t remember. Such a great book!


  6. do you have the library lookup bookmarklet for book searching? It’s a javascript bookmarklet that lets you lookup a book in your own library with one click from any page that displays an ISBN. EG you see a cool book on amazon and you hit the button, voila, you are looking at your library’s record for it. I use it all the time because amazon’s browsability is so very superior to anything a library has on its own. check it


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