cover image The Third Gift

The Third Gift

Linda Sue Park, illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline. Clarion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-547-20195-5

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.)