Most know the Biblical Christmas story about Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men (unnumbered in the Bible, but traditionally three) who traveled from the East.
Many years ago, Henry Van Dyke created a story about a fourth wise man, who had planned to travel to visit the newborn King of the Jews. However, he missed their rendezvous, and had to travel on his own.
In The Fourth Wise Man, author Susan Summers retells Van Dyke’s story for children. She explains why the fourth wise man missed traveling with his friends, and tells about his journey to find the King of the Jews. It seems the wise man failed to find the King of the Jews, but at the end, the readers realize that he hadn’t.
In her afterword, Summers explains the origin and meaning of the story – very helpful when discussing it with children.
I really enjoyed this book and its illustrations by Jackie Morris. It helped my children and I to remember the true meaning of Christmas, and the importance of journeys, even when it takes a long time to reach your destination.