THE THREE KINGS by Géraldine Elschner

THE THREE KINGS

The Journey of the Magi
Age Range: 6 - 10
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Another retelling of a Christian story by Elschner (The Nativity, 2015, etc.), illustrated with full-bleed reproductions from Renaissance paintings.

Although the paintings are exquisite, a child encountering this story might be forgiven for being confused. The text that accompanies each painting makes it clear that the story has a mythic dimension, as is clear from the highly varied depictions of the Magi by different painters. Questions asked on the first spread: “Did they wear conical hats or turbans? / Was the youngest white or black?” are belied by the illustration chosen for this spread, which shows three men, two wearing turbans and one of whom is black. Two page turns later, three nearly identical white men with auburn curls are shown, not one of them in a hat. Other illustrations show (mysteriously) two kings in a boat, hands holding gold vessels, the face of Mary. A final spread describes the shrine where the relics are preserved and the festival of Epiphany. There is no mention of Christianity, Christ, or Jesus, though both Herod and Christmas are referenced. Absent pre-existent understanding of the story, this will be a hard book for a child to appreciate independently or even for a teacher or parent to explain, given the lack of information provided. Many of the uncaptioned paintings themselves are cropped to focus on specific details, further de-contextualizing the images.

Tight cropping of unidentified old masters and a vague storyline do not add up to a child-friendly exposition of the Christian story. (Picture book/religion. 6-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-988-8341-26-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Minedition
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2016




MORE BY GÉRALDINE ELSCHNER

ChildrenMARTIN LUTHER by Géraldine Elschner
by Géraldine Elschner
ChildrenTHE NATIVITY by Géraldine Elschner
by Géraldine Elschner
ChildrenLIKE A WOLF by Géraldine Elschner
by Géraldine Elschner

MORE BY KATHRYN BISHOP

ChildrenMARTIN LUTHER by Géraldine Elschner
by Géraldine Elschner
ChildrenTHE NATIVITY by Géraldine Elschner
by Géraldine Elschner
ChildrenTHE LITTLE MOON RAVEN by Marcus Pfister
by Marcus Pfister

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenA KING JAMES CHRISTMAS by Catherine Schuon
by Catherine Schuon
ChildrenLITTLE ONE, WE KNEW YOU’D COME by Sally Lloyd-Jones
by Sally Lloyd-Jones
ChildrenLISTEN TO THE SILENT NIGHT by Dandi Daley Mackall
by Dandi Daley Mackall