Our table

Peter H. Reynolds, 1961-

Book - 2021

"Violet longs for the time when her family was connected: before life, distractions, and technology pulled them all away from each other. They used to gather at the table, with food and love, to make memories, share their lives, and revel in time spent together. But now her family has been drifting apart, and with nobody to gather around it, the table grows smaller and smaller. Can Violet remind her family of the warmth of time spent together, and gather around the table once more? A mystical fable that feels at once timeless and utterly of the present moment, Our Table is renowned, bestselling creator Peter H. Reynolds at his best. Exquisite, expressive watercolor tells a tender story, growing from monochrome into luscious, joyful col...or as Violet's family is reunited around the beloved table. An ode to traditions that unite families, Our Table brings readers together with a universal message of gratitude."--Amazon.com.

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Picture books
New York, NY : Orchard Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc 2021.
Main Author
Peter H. Reynolds, 1961- (author)
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

A girl named Violet remembers when her family would gather around the table to prepare food and share meals full of laughter and celebration. But nowadays, she eats at the table alone, while her father watches "a big screen," her mother texts people on her phone, and her brother plays video games. Sad and lonely, she is startled to notice that, day by day, the table is shrinking! When it fits in her hand and suddenly vanishes, she goes into action, asking her family members for help. Together, they build a table that is "stronger, more beautiful than ever." And happily, the good times return. You can read this picture book as a parable for our times, when electronic devices that supposedly connect people actually isolate them. Or you can simply admire Violet for recognizing a problem, taking charge, and solving it. Either way, many children will relate to her longing for family togetherness. Reynolds tells the story simply and illustrates it expressively. The scenes depicting the child's isolation are drawn in black lines with moody purple-gray washes on white backgrounds, but when Violet reminisces about the past happiness and later, when the family comes together again, colorful washes brighten the pages. A reminder of what really matters.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In Reynolds's characteristic ink-and-watercolor spreads, Violet, a brown-skinned girl with springy purple hair, mourns that the dining room table is no longer where her family congregates. Cheery, full-color scenes of the past shift to present-day monochromatic, purple-washed vignettes showing Violet's parents and older brother now individually absorbed in their respective screens; the story takes a parable turn as Violet's beloved table literally shrinks until it disappears. But the child isn't going to take this sitting down: she smartly enlists family members in building a new table, meeting each where they are ("She asked her father to watch/ a show about carpentry together./ And they did"), and the drawings return to full color as the family joyfully gathers 'round again. An apropos reminder, especially pertinent for the holidays, of connections maintained through physical proximity. Ages 4--8. (Oct.)

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Review by School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3--Violet, a small Black girl with natural curls, reminisces about a table and how her family used it. There was the gathering of food stuffs brought to the table, and then the preparations, from setting the table to cooking meals and lighting candles, and then then the meal itself. These memories appear in full color, while scenes of Violet's present state, mourning those moments, are colored purple. She often finds herself at the table alone, for her family members have "new" places to be. The melancholy of this household grows worse: the brother plays games on his device, with friends Violet cannot see, the mother is perched in a stairwell, texting silently over her phone, and Violet's father is just as immersed in watching a gigantic TV. The table grows literally smaller, till it belongs more in a doll's house than a dining room. Then it vanishes. How Violet involves her family in real life, rallying them one by one, is a study in collaboration, ingenuity, practical measures, and how to sow the seeds of communion. VERDICT Simple, sweet, charming, and uplifting, this book takes an understated rebuke of screen time and transforms it into a child-sized lesson of love.--Kimberly Olson Fakih, School Library Journal

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A youngest child misses sitting around the table with her now-busy family, then finds a way to restore their time together. Violet remembers the table "fondly." Memories were made making meals, preparing the table, and sitting together telling stories. Now, her family is busy, and Violet finds herself alone at the table. Her father sits in front of a big screen. Her mother chats on a small screen. Her brother plays games with friends on a medium-sized screen. One day, Violet notices that the table is smaller than it used to be. The next day, it is smaller still. When the table disappears altogether, Violet knows what she must do to restore balance to her family. In Reynolds' established tradition, this story is simple and full of heart, celebrating the wonder and possibility of being human and being in relationship. While the tale holds heavy moments of loneliness and disconnection, the characters are memorably good-natured, and the family rallies quite easily around the important cause when Violet shows the way. Room is left for readers to think, with plenty of white space surrounding the text and the monochromatic purple-shaded sketches that dominate the story. Vivid memories, both old and new in the making, bring feeling in full color. Violet's family is Black with puffy purple hair. Sweet and timely for today's families. (Picture book. 3-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.