cover image The Blue Table

The Blue Table

Chris Raschka. Greenwillow, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-293776-6

Spare text and images center the titular cerulean table, around which a small family—and later, a second—gathers to share meals and gratitude. Instead of showing human figures, Caldecott Medalist Raschka showcases tabletop objects and dishes from a bird’s-eye view, which appear and disappear as the pages turn. In colorful illustrations crafted from watercolor and cut-paper collage, a glass of milk first signifies “a child.” Across the gutter, the addition of a coffee cup and saucer to the surface indicates another arrival—“a parent.” And a page turn later, “another parent” joins, the table now host to a second coffee cup, a plate of cinnamon rolls, and activities befitting a comfortable breakfast (a newspaper, a book, crayons and paper). “Good things/ from the garden,// the store,/ and the farm” are assembled next, among them veggies and a turkey, and a leaf is added to the blue table in preparation for “one more family.” Images include hands and forearms in a variety of skin tones as all gather, “thankful,” for a many-coursed meal. A gentle picture book that celebrates the joy to be found in both everyday routines and holiday abundance. Ages 4–8. [em](Oct.) [/em]