This is Felicia! My girls and I love exploring Houston and we love to read.
This week we are reviewing, The Amazing Bone by William Steig.
I remember reading The Amazing Bone in first grade over and over again. My classmates and I loved this book and would take turns rereading it every day and it is a favorite between my girls.
Before I continue to review this story, I would like to point out that there are situations in it that may frighten children under the age of 4 or kids that are sensitive. With robbers that threaten the heroine, Pearl the Pig, with a gun to her head and a fox that abducts her, with plans to eat her, I can see where it can be more emotionally taxing than your average Grimm fairy tale. Not only that, it’s just bizarre.
To begin, this story was a 1977 Caldecott Honor book for being one of the best illustrated stories of that year. With its pastel, spring watercolors it is easy to see why. My favorite thing about this book is all the strange vocabulary words that it introduced to my kids. “Guffers”, “incantation”, and “odoriferous” are a few of the words stuffed in the pages. Our favorite phrase is “Have you no shame, sir?”.
Okay, back to the weird book. Pearl the Pig, finds the Amazing Bone when she is out on a walk and the bone calls to her, claiming that it has been dropped by a grotesque witch. The bone speaks many languages, sings, and imitates many sounds which it uses to scare off some robbers and then tries to frighten off the fox that kidnaps her. The fox, a favorite villain of Steig, is savvier than the robbers and threatens to chew on the bone if it does not quit its roaring. When they arrive home, preparations for the roasting of Pearl ensue and with a quick turn of events, the Amazing Bone is able to rescue Pearl and all turns out well in the end.
The twists in the story keep it from being too real and after reading it, my kids immediately begged for a rereading. I was lucky enough to rediscover The Amazing Bone in a collection with some of my Steig’s favorites. “Shrek”, “Brave Irene”, “Spinky Sulks”, “Doctor De Soto” and “Caleb and Kate” were in the anthology that I bought and even though a few are a little weird, I sincerely feel that your children are always in good hands with Steig.
Go HERE to get your own copy. Or, better yet, shop local and head to Brazos Bookstore. If you mention you saw this review on BigKidSmallCity, you will get a discount... and get to read the book immediately!