It’s confession time. I am reading many more children’s books for this project than I anticipated. They are a great pick when it’s a hectic week. I also have a six year old son that I am trying to mold and shape into an avid reader in a world where video games and TV rule. And, I am actually finding that some of these books provide a nice shift in focus and perspective, reminding me of imagination, wonder and the things that really matter. Byrd Baylor’s works fill that need perfectly.


I first read Byrd Baylor with the kiddo this summer (EVERYBODY NEEDS A ROCK) and fell in love with her words and the illustrations of Peter Parnall. Then through a decades-old friendship rekindled on Facebook, I received a recommendation of THE TABLE WHERE RICH PEOPLE SIT, another Baylor/Parnall partnership that is both endearing and beautifully told.


THE TABLE WHERE RICH PEOPLE SIT concerns Mountain Girl, nicknamed for her birth place, a young girl troubled by her parent’s disinterest in acquiring more money and things for her and her brother. Her disdain for her parent’s seemingly simple-minded approach to living is broached at dinner while sitting at “our old scratched-up homemade kitchen table.”


As I turned the pages, a beautiful story focused on the riches that come from nature, relationships and experiences unfolded. The illustrations are as critical a component to the storytelling as the poetic verse, with gorgeous water colors randomly and sporadically filling in the hand-drawn shapes. I think the message went a bit over the head of my six year old. And, in full disclosure, he fell asleep before I hit the last page. But I kept reading Baylor’s words aloud, savoring them along with the illustrations that truly are amongst the most creative I have ever seen.


I wholly recommend this book for children (probably eight and older) and adults. I am anxious to dig into the other Baylor/Parnall books I picked up while buying THE TABLE WHERE RICH PEOPLE SIT. I wouldn’t be surprised if I am back again reviewing their other collaborative efforts.


Rating: 5 stars
Pages: 32
Genre: Children’s