Title: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Author/Illustrator: William Steig
This was one of my absolute favorite books as a child. It’s even good for pre-readers, because the pictures are so clear you can follow the story without the words. There are also a couple of jokes in the pictures that are not there in the words (confused ducks and lions, for example). The donkeys are nicely anthropomorphized – wearing human clothes and walking on their hind legs, but clearly donkeys nonetheless. The final image of Sylvester and his parents on the couch is, I think, permanently in my brain. All of Steig’s books are classics in the truest sense.