The Amazing Bone

by William Steig

Paperback, 1993



Call number




Farrar, Straus, Giroux (1993)


On her way home from school, Pearl finds an unusual bone that has unexpected powers.

User reviews

LibraryThing member A.Smith
This was an incredibly intense book, with guns and knives and terror. I wasn't expecting that at all. It was genius and amazing and beautiful though, and now officially one of my favorites. I would difinitely would recommed the book as a read aloud. I really enjoyed this book!
LibraryThing member Whisper1
Move over Maurice Sendak, Steig could have shown you one or two things about how to frighten a child with the words and illustrations of his book!

Cute little Pink Pig Pearl wanders in the forest on an absolutely perfect day. Finding a talking bone, she is not frightened, but rather is amused and
Show More
puts the bone in her purse to carry home.

Traveling home she comes upon three nasty mask wearing critters with guns and knives. One image shows the evil masked critter places the gun right next to Pearl's head. When the bone growled and then hissed like a snake, the near do wells hurry to flee.

A short time later, Pearl meets a dandy Fox, wearing a suit and leering with his sharp teeth.
Unafraid of the bone and Pearl, he escorts them to his raggle taggle house where he intends to eat Polly. Again, there are more images of sharp knives and imminent danger.

The bone uses magic words to shrink the fox and he fled into a mouse hole.

Pearls parents, who were worried about her, are happy to see her home. Pearl and the bone are welcomed and live happy ever after.

Interesting to note, and not surprising to learn, this book is on a banned list because of the terror, violence and images of guns and knives.
Show Less
LibraryThing member kaida46
I love Steig's tales, and my children have always enjoyed them as well. They get to use their imagination and there is a moral to the story, too. Delightful illustrations. Pearl has an amazing adventure one day on her way home, it all begins when she finds this unusual bone...
LibraryThing member LaceyKay
In a sense, this is a very modern twist to the classic three little pigs story. The difference is that there is only one little pig and instead of relying on hard work to stay protected from the fox, the little piggy relies on a magic talking bone. There is a brief gun scene and it has caused a
Show More
slough of mixed reviews for this book but when I read it, it seemed quite minor, but make sure to check this depending on your school's policy. Whimsical and creative.
Show Less
LibraryThing member AllisonHood
Although I likes the story, I did not like the robbery scene. My children did not like it either. I thought it was cruel and graphic.
LibraryThing member MelAKnee
Pearl is just a normal pig walking around a forest when suddenly she hears a voice that sounds as if it is right next to her. To her surprise it was coming from a bone that was lying next to her right there on the ground. This bone and her were instant friend and he comes to the rescue in a
Show More
terrible situation.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Devine1
The Amazing Bone is about a little girl pig, named Pearl who comes across a talking bone. The bone belonged to a witch who had lost him when he fell out of the witches basket. Pearl decides to take the bone home but on their way home she runs across trouble first with some robbers who the
Show More
Bone scares and then Fox. Fox wants to eat Pearl for dinner and is not afraid of Bone. He takes them to his foxhole and there Bone saves Pearl from Fox by casting a spell on him that shrinks Fox to mouse size. Pearl takes Bone home to her parents who cannot believe what they hear when the Bone begins to speak. The family decided to keep Bone and he becomes part of the family.
Personal Reaction:
I personally did not really like this book. I did not stay interested in the book.
Extension Ideas:
1. Have the class break into groups and have them explain what the Plot was. Having each group present.
2. Have each child create to sequence cards explain what happened in this story.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Bethany1221
The Amazing Bone is a story about a talking bone that helps a little pig names Pearl out of predicaments that could harm her. She escapes three robbers and a hungry fox with the talking bones help. In this story there are bigger words for children to look up, understand and use in their vocabulary.
LibraryThing member TheMightyQuinn
While Pearl dawdles after class she finds a talking bone, so taken with her new friend, Pearl is caught unawares by an aggressive fox and it will take all the bone's skill to get them free. Beautiful pen and paint from Steig staggered between the text. This is a simple story, with a shocking amount
Show More
of realism for a picture book that is carefully designed in an acceptable form for child readers. Successful resolution. Recommended for any picture book collections for all readers.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Cfmichel
A lovely little book about a pig who finds and befriends a talking bone. On her way home, she is stopped by muggers who the bone scare away. Further in her journey, she is stopped by a fox who the bone fails at scaring away. The fox takes the pig and her bone to his house and locks her in a room
Show More
while he prepares to cook her for dinner. Right before the fox cooks the little pig, the bone begins shouting random words. The more he speaks, the smaller the mouse gets until it is a small little mouse and scurries away. The pig and the bone head home to the pig's worried parents. The pig explains her story to her parents and shows them her talking bone. The bone becomes a part of the family and all is well in the end. I enjoyed this book however would suggest it for older children because of the larger vocabulary words. The only complaint I would have is the fact that the robbers pull out knives and put a gun to the pig's head. It seems a bit much for a children's book and something I wouldn't want being read to my children, especially at an early age.
Show Less
LibraryThing member hcurrey
This was always a disturbing book to me as a child, and upon re-reading it, it hasn't gotten much less creepy. A fox captures a pig and takes her to his hideout to EAT HER, and as all of the characters are animals, this is clearly a case of attempted cannibalism. The book is full of the little
Show More
oddities that are William Steig. It could be used to teach about Stranger Danger, I suppose.
Show Less
LibraryThing member rwalsh06
This book is about a pig who finds a talking bone and it ends up being very special to her. The bone helps her get out of a bad situation when she is about to get eaten by a fox. Children could use their imagination by asking what would they do if the bone talked to them.
LibraryThing member fefferbooks
I love The Amazing Bone more than I can express! I've even read it to adult crowds and gotten a laugh. This book is a must-read!
LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
I think I'm too old & jaded to appreciate this.  I believe this is the first time I've read this particular Steig, and I just don't get it.  I mean, so what?  Where's the heart, the resonance, the reread value?  Pearl is a nice girl who has an adventure... ok then.
LibraryThing member wichitafriendsschool
Can Pearl, a pig, and her new friend, a small talking bone, outwit a band of robbers and a hungry fox?
LibraryThing member 1Avidfan
Although the story starts well, the plot becomes to violent and doesn’t seem to have a real ending. A girl pig wanders after school, finds a talking bone, gets into serious trouble, the bone saves her from a gruesome death, she brings the bone home, tell her parents then goes to bed with the
Show More
bone. It makes no sense to me.
Show Less
LibraryThing member KellyLPickett
This book is a little iffy in terms of all of its content so it may be something that is slightly censored depending on the age group. It is the story of a happy little pig that finds a magic bone that is able to imitate any sound or language. The two become quick friends having lovely
Show More
conversations. On their walk through the woods they come across a hungry fox that cannot be fooled by the talking bone and take the two back to his house and prepares to eat the Pearl the pig. Suddenly the bone realizes that he has another magic power... he is able to shrink the fox to the size of a mouse saving the life of Pearl.
This book can be used to talk about the power of words and to never underestimate the abilities of others.
Show Less
LibraryThing member champlin
Picture Book. This book is about Pearl who finds a magic pebble on her way home from school. She gets kidnapped by a fox and has to get herself free with the help of the magic bone. What I love the most about The Amazing Bone is the language and the humor.
LibraryThing member LibrarianRyan
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It is done in such a masterful way that even though it is a bit long, it sails by. Pearl is a young pig still in school. On a bight sunny day, she takes a picnic and finds a bone that once fell out of a witch’s basket. This amazing bone could talk. It was very
Show More
helpful in scaring away the robbers that attacked with knives and guns. But the Fox was smart. He saw the bone and how amazing it was. He wanted it for himself and Pearl for dinner. Literally! A pignapping happens, but the bone still saves the day. This book is heavily banned. The reasons range from witchcraft and the occult to violence and kidnapping. I get why parents complain, this book is a bit more macabre wrapped in pretty paper than stories are now. But the story is lovely. It’s a folk tale that could be told again and again and again and kids would be on the edge of their seat every single time.
Show Less



Original language


Original publication date



0374403589 / 9780374403584

Other editions

Page: 0.3921 seconds