Posted: Dec 28, 2020
Children’s Books for Epiphany
What is Epiphany? It is a liturgical holiday which comes every single year and right after Christmas, but it doesn’t always get very much attention. Part of the reason for this overlooking of Epiphany is that its major event often gets rolled into Christmas. The event remembered in Epiphany is when Jesus, Joseph, and Mary were visited by the three Magi (or three wise men, or three kings). We typically think of the Magi coming right after Jesus was born, but remember that they were coming from far away! It took the three of them quite a while to get to Jesus and so Epiphany falls a little after Christmas each year on the calendar.
Through the visit of the Magi we remember that the incarnation, the joy of God becoming truly human while remaining truly God, isn’t just good news for some people. The incarnation is good news to be shared with all people, all over the whole world. As we move through Christmastide and into Epiphany, consider giving the following children’s books a look. Each one reflects on the journey to Jesus in its own ways and provides new pictures of this central part of the story the gospels share
“Three Kings’ Day – the sixth of January – is almost here! Anita and her older brothers, Tito and Tomas, walk in the streets the night before, celebrating and singing. Carrying gifts and dressed as the Three Kings — Balthazar, Kaspar, and Melchoir — they join the colorful procession in their town and visit neighbors.Spanish-speaking people all over the world celebrate the joyous Three Kings’ Day — also known as the Epiphany or Twelfth Night — every January sixth. Award-winning author Lori Marie Carlson brings the holiday to life in this engaging family story about three children — carrying gifts and dressed as Balthazar, Kaspar, and Melchoir — who go from house to house in their neighborhood and reenact the journey of the Three Wise Men. Glowing oil paintings by Ed Martinez perfectly capture the warmth of this special holiday.”
“Everyone in the village is bubbling with excitement about the new star in the sky—everyone except old Baboushka, who is busy sweeping, scouring, and polishing her house. Then three strangers arrive. When Baboushka invites them to stay the night, they ask her to join their search for a new baby—an infant king. But Baboushka is too busy with her chores. When at last she follows, bearing gifts for the baby, the newborn king is gone. Some say Baboushka continues her search to this very day, and at Christmas—whenever she sees a sleeping child or hears of good deeds—she will lift a toy from her basket and leave it.”
“From the renowned author of The Dark is Rising series, a Christmas tale in which the Three Kings, in the guise of truck drivers, bring a Christmas tree to a poor family: a gentle story of fraternal affection and childlike faith, with the miraculous ending diminished not an iota by the trailer park and truckstop setting. Smith’s realistic illustrations place the story squarely in the here and now, but he has a particular gift for painting the effects of different kinds of light–the flat harsh glare of a roadside cafe, the sharp-edged shadows cast by stage lights at a Christmas pageant, blinding headlights diffracted by thickly falling snow- -that also suggests the awe and wonder of the season. Something different, and very nice, for the Christmas collection.”