The Table Where Rich People Sit by Byrd Baylor, Illustrations by Peter Parnall
Could you put a price on the pleasure of sitting with your child to share a meal, a story? On waking up to a perfect sunrise, or enjoying a laugh with a dear friend? As the holidays once more approach, it is natural to think with anticipation about the gifts and joy that we’ll give to our loved ones. This lovely book, with its text-heavy content balanced by bright and sweeping line drawings, provides an incredible vehicle for discussing the value of presence, not presents.
The protagonist of this story, a young child, insists that her family is not wealthy: they do not have much money. Mountain Girl is irritated by the seeming nonchalance of her parents vis-a-vis opportunities to increase their income. Through the story, they in turn kindly and slowly (and best of all, using a dialogic questioning strategy!) rebuff her more materialistic notions and extoll a mindset that is simultaneously more conscious and conscientious. Share it with a child you love, dive into your own conversation about what makes a life well-lived, and it is highly recommended to keep some tissues on hand as you near the end of the story!
Purchase on AmazonSmile and proceeds will be contributed to Raising A Reader MA!
Written by Tara Ruby (former RAR-MA Program Manager)