The Third Gift by Linda Sue Park & Bagram Ibatoulline

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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.


About Linda Sue Park & Bagram Ibatoulline

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Linda Sue Park is the author of the Newbery Medal book A Single Shard, many other novels, and several picture books. She lives in Rochester, New York, with her family. For more information visit
Published November 15, 2011 by Clarion Books. 32 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The dried sap, the boy postulates, is “called tears because it seems as if the tree is crying.” The narrator explains the various applications of the tears, including the funereal use of the very best tears.

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Publishers Weekly

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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.

Sep 26 2011 | Read Full Review of The Third Gift

New York Journal of Books

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“The Third Gift is an unusually thoughtful and bittersweet story that shines a light on ordinary people in a historic place and time.”Quiet and lustrous, this spare story by the Newbery Award-winning author Linda Sue Park distinguishes itself from the jingly, jangly stuff that crowds the book are...

Nov 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Third Gift

Project MUSE

In Park’s spare but evocative narrative, a nameless Middle Eastern boy learns from his father to harvest “tears,” hardened beads of sap from a desert tree, which are sold for high prices at the local market.

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