Cover image for The third gift
The third gift
Park, Linda Sue.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Clarion Books, [2011]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 30 cm
After harvesting an especially large "tear" of a resin known as myrrh, a young boy and his father visit a spice merchant whose three customers are seeking a special gift to bring to a baby. Includes biblical references and historical information about the Magi and myrrh.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.2 0.5 147162.
Added Author:
Format :


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J PIC BOOK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Childrens Area-Holiday
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday

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From two extraordinary talents, a beautifully crafted picture book for the Christmas season.

The three wise men, or the three kings, are familiar figures in the Christmas tradition. Newbery medalist Linda Sue Park has taken the brief biblical references to the three as the starting point for a new story. In it we meet a boy who is learning his father's trade; a man who gathers resin from certain trees; a merchant in the marketplace; and three strangers in brightly colored robes who are shopping for a gift for a baby. Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline with exquisite paintings, this simple, moving tale of ordinary people involved in an extraordinary event brings new resonance to the well-known gift list of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Includes an author's note.

Author Notes

Linda Sue Park was born in Urbana, Illinois on March 25, 1960. She received a B.A. in English from Stanford University. After graduating, she worked as a public-relations writer for a major oil company for two years. She obtained advanced degrees in literature from Trinity College, Dublin in Ireland and from the University of London. Before becoming a full-time author, she held numerous jobs including working for an advertising agency, teaching English as a second language to college students, and working as a food journalist. Her first book, Seesaw Girl, was published in 1999. Her other books include The Kite Fighters, Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems), and A Single Shard, which won the 2002 Newbery Medal. She also wrote Storm Warning, which is the ninth book in the 39 Clues series. Her title A Long Walk to Water made the New York Times bestseller list.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

It's hard to tell at first where this book is going. My father collects tears, it begins. The tears are balls of sap that seep from the trees. Together, father and son walk over desolate terrain, looking for trees that will deliver the tears used for medicine and embalming. Father is especially good at finding them. But it is left to the boy to carve out the biggest tear of all to sell to the Wise Men, who are bringing it as part of a gift to a special babe. This quiet story may not grab readers at first, with little action beyond simply the clipped wanderings and working of a man and his son. The desert-sand color that saturates the pages also gives a stillness to the art, though the nearly photorealistic faces of the duo are arresting. Yet at the conclusion, when the boy wonders about the gift's recipient, children may be set wondering as well. The extensive author's note explains Park's reasons for writing this picture book and adds welcome detail.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Somewhere in Ibatoulline's ancient, almost-shimmering Arab desert landscape, a boy at his father's side learns the family business of gathering valuable sap, which seeps like tears from certain trees. Neither father nor son realize the greatness of their wares as it is sold to three finely dressed men who add it to gifts of gold and frankincense that they are taking to "a baby." Newbery Medalist Park's lean, well-paced story bridges the ordinary and the sacred to powerful effect. Park's author's note describes her inspiration and includes some background on myrrh. Ages 6-9. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-A boy tells of the long walks he takes with his father, who collects pearls of sap from certain trees, a skill he has honed over years. These expensive "tears" are used as medicine and spice, and as incense at funerals-and when three strangers arrive at the marketplace to buy the finest tears "for a baby," readers discover that it is myrrh, one of the gifts to baby Jesus mentioned in Matthew 2:11. The hyperrealistic acryl-gouache illustrations depict the sandy beige hues and nuanced textures of a dry and inhospitable land, contrasting with the smooth skin and rounded cheeks of the young boy and his loving relationship with his father. This gorgeous picture book sheds thoughtful light on a fascinating facet of the Christmas story.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.