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Saturday, 15 December 2012

Review: The Third Gift

A father and son wander the desert in search of good trees from which to harvest precious pearls of sap. Their world is far removed from the bustle and excitement of contemporary Western Christmas preparations and yet their story is at its core.

While the harsh beauty of a hot and desolate landscape seeps through pages imbued with hot whites, desert yellows and burning oranges, the father and son’s search for quality and even perfection takes time.

Only some trees are ready for harvest and even then, the draining cut must be not too shallow, not too deep and just in the right place. Sap-filled tears form and dry on the trunk until they are ready to be picked off by hand. Merchants seek the fragrant spice that is cradled within these tears. The spice is Myrrh.

The Third Gift is a different kind of Christmas story, but as always, ordinary people play a part in the big picture. The Third Gift speaks of everyone’s connection to Christmas, even if we didn’t stand by that original manger.

This lyrical tale of few words and magnificent artwork is a keeper for anyone who loves tales of lives in different parts of the world, and for anyone who loves Christmas.  

Title: The Third Gift
Author: Linda Sue Park
Illustrator: Bagram Ibatoulline
Publisher: UQP, $24.95
Publication Date: December 2011
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9780702239304
For ages: 4 +
Type: Picture Book

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