"Good books are life teachers." Great quote. Dressed in a formal collar and tie, father reads to his family, probably during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson (1912 - 1920). His wife and children are also well dressed and they sit in a well-appointed parlor. The book is not specified. The children were probably accustomed to stories that ended with a moral lesson.
BEST!!! My 5th Grade teacher read this book aloud to us. She cried like a baby at the end. Since then, I've read this book 7 or 8 times and cry harder every time. It's a classic that I think every kid should read. Of course, mine won't because it turns me into blubbering idot.
I think my first encounter with James and the Giant Peach was in 5th grade, when my teacher read it aloud to the class, and it hooked me on Roald Dahl. While I do love the original illustrations by Nancy Berkert, I'm also partial to Lane Smith's quirky versions as well. But regardless of which pictures accompany it, it's a fantastic story.