Friday, November 16, 2007

The Fourth Wise Man

The Fourth Wise Man, written by Mary Joslin, retells a French legend to show there is more to Christmas than anything money can buy.
It begins with four wise men atop the tallest city tower. There they spot a special star and immediately set off to find the great king who has been born. One wise man brings a small box of gold, "the perfect gift to take to a royal baby." The other wise men seek their gifts along the journey. One purchases the finest frankincense, "perfect for a king who is faithful in prayer." Another buys the most expensive myrrh, "a gift for someone who will bring healing." All the while, the fourth wiseman cannot find a gift worthy of this new king.
When they finally reach the birthplace of the holy child, the fourth wise man stays outside because he still does not have a suitable gift. He waters the camels while he waits. One a final trip to the well, he sees in his bucket the reflection of the special star. Excitedly, he runs inside to give this perfect gift to the baby boy. "It's like a little bit of heaven itself."
The next day this fourth wise man decides he will use his money to "buy gifts to make children smile."
This book is beautifully illustrated by award-winning artist Richard Johnson. Each page is saturated with rich jewel tones.
What I Like: The color! I love how this book is filled with vibrant, lively colors. It's very attractive. The story is nice, too. It's a wonderful tale.
What I Dislike: The writing. This could have been a fabulous book, but the writing falls far short of its potential. Sentences are disjointed and choppy. The flow is unnatural. Also, the ending is extremely abrupt. It seemed a subtle reference to Santa Claus, but incomplete.
Overall Rating: Ho-hum.
Age Appeal: 5-9
Publisher Info: David C. Cook Distribution, 2007; ISBN: 0781445450; Harback; $14.99
Buy it Now at for $11.99!
Or buy it at Amazon for $10.19

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