The Table Where Rich People Sit

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A girl discovers that her impoverished family is rich in things that matter in life, especially being outdoors and experiencing nature.

A girl discovers that her impoverished family is rich in things that matter in life, especially being outdoors and experiencing nature.

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Overview

A girl discovers that her impoverished family is rich in things that matter in life, especially being outdoors and experiencing nature.

A girl discovers that her impoverished family is rich in things that matter in life, especially being outdoors and experiencing nature.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With the same prose poetry and sparsely colored line drawings that mark their other collaborations, Baylor and Parnall tell the story of Mountain Girl, who begins to see the wealth in her family's simple lifestyle. Ages 6-9. July
Children's Literature - Patricia Timbrook
The family table-a perfect object and place for debating the question, "Who is rich?" Seated with her parents and her brother around the huge, wooden table Father made, Mountain Girl declares her family is poor and that their table is not a table where rich people sit. Her parents then begin assigning dollar figures to each of their desert-lifestyle experiences, which Mountain Girl tallies. When the dollar total climbs to four million and sixty thousand, Mountain Girl stops writing and closes the meeting, because she understands and believes as do her parents: they ARE the rich people. This book distances the reader from the main character, through its pondering, poetic writing style; and through its craggy, desert-and-sunset-looking illustrations. This story, a Reading Rainbow Book, helps young children think about measuring life in a way other than in monetary value.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-A simple, philosophical, thought-provoking piece. Mountain Girl (nicknamed for her place of birth) would like her parents to earn more money so they could have nicer things. At a family meeting around their ``...old, scratched-up, homemade kitchen table,'' her parents, who work outdoors for a living, convince her and her younger brother that the enjoyment of their natural surroundings and the richness of one another's company are worth a fortune. The girl's first-person account has the feel of a diary. Parnall's familiar, stylized line drawings, colored here with hues of ochre, turquoise, and apple green, provide a dreamlike accompaniment to Baylor's words of wisdom. A devotee of nature, the author reminds readers that, despite the fact that many people may not choose this free-spirited, nonmaterialistic lifestyle, an occasional pause to reflect on personal values is a worthwhile effort. A sound piece of advice.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Julie Corsaro
Although this story is unabashedly pedantic, the voice of the disenchanted young narrator is convincing. Calling a family meeting to discuss money, Mountain Girl tells her parents, "It would help if you both had a little more ambition." The nature-loving adults respond with an accounting of their riches. It's worth 20 thousand dollars to work outdoors, another 10 thousand to hear coyotes howling, 5 thousand more to see the changing colors of faraway mountains . . . We get the message, and so does Mountain Girl--perhaps a bit too easily. Still, similarly inclined adults wanting to combat the materialism of the Nintendo-Power Ranger generation may feel this is just what the shaman ordered. With the signature look of a Parnall-Baylor collaboration, the stylized artwork in desert hues has flowing lines and a strong sense of balance. Add this to your collection of stories about values--with a capital "V".
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756942540
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/15/1998
  • Series: Aladdin Picture Bks.
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Byrd Baylor lives and writes in Arizona, presenting images of the Southwest and an intense connection between the land and the people. Her prose illustrates vividly the value of simplicity, the natural world, and the balance of life within it.

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