This day has nearly gotten away from me, so I will quickly slip in this review of our book for today. A very different story for me and for this holiday season. The look and feel of this one is not something I would have picked up if it hadn’t been for a friend’s recommendation. It is the unique story of a young boy whose father is a collector of tears, which are the pearls of sap from a tree, and how one very special tear becomes the very special third gift for a baby. An intriguing perspective on a piece of the Nativity from Linda Sue Park and Bagram Ibatoulline, here is The Third Gift, 2011.

The Third Gift cover

The focus of this story is on the boy helping and admiring his father’s work of finding the very best trees and getting the largest tears to come from them. It is a well-honed skill of his father and the boy is proud to watch and to help. He explains what the tears become once they are sold for large amounts to the spice merchants and how the very best ones are used for funerals.

On a specific day in the story, the boy and his father collect the largest tear they have seen yet. They sell it weeks later to a merchant and his customers of three men with fine clothes on a long journey. It is to become their third gift, a gift of myrrh. Read the full post…