cover image The Three Kings: The Journey of the Magi

The Three Kings: The Journey of the Magi

Géraldine Elschner, trans. from the German by Kathryn Bishop. Minedition (IPG, dist.), $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-988-8341-26-9

As in The Nativity (2015), Elschner retells a biblical tale, in this case the journey of “three wise men from the East,” illustrated with paintings by Renaissance Masters. Taking cues from the exquisite paintings that accompany the narrative, Elschner lyrically describes the trio’s star-guided journey and arrival at Jesus’s humble birthplace. The rich diversity of styles represented in the art gives the book uncommon visual dimension; among the many stirring images are Benozzo Gozzolli’s sprawling rendering of the Magi’s lengthy caravan as it snakes up a hill, Domenico Ghirlandaio’s finely detailed portrait of adoring and emotional shepherds, and Gentile da Fabriano’s luminous portrayal of the eldest king kneeling before the infant Jesus. A lovely Christmas gift book, both as a contemplation of one aspect of the Nativity story and as an introduction to how it has been portrayed though art. Ages 3–up. (Oct.)