The Last Straw by Frederick Thury. This is a winner in my family primarily because of the way the camel's name rolls off the tongue: Hashmakaka. True story: we have a rice casserole dish named after this camel after an impatient child kept whining that he wanted to know what was in the dish I was making… and I burst out in frustration: "It's camel meat! We are eating camel for dinner!!!" Hence: Hashmakaka was born… and it's a well loved dish today (made with ground turkey, just so you know).
We Three Kings by Gennady Spirin. This is the next Epiphany book on my list to buy. Pure eye candy accompany the text of that famous song.
They Followed a Bright Star by Joan Alavedra. A deceptively deep book couched in a very simple story: the shepherds and kings follow the star to find the Newborn Baby. My very favorite part is when one shepherd boy whispers, "Is He a shepherd or a king?" I had never thought of the significance of Christ's visitors until that… very cool.
Baboushka and the Three Kings by Ruth Robbins. There are many legends of this old Christmas lady but I like this one best of what I've seen because of its quirky but lovely illustrations. A more modern (and more Italian) version of this story is de Paola's The Legend of Old Befana.
The Third Gift by Bagram Ibatoulline. I am in love with this book. So thoughtful and such a unique angle on Epiphany. A boy and his father are harvesting one of the gifts that the wise men will bring to baby Jesus. Beautiful.
Strega Nona's Gift by Tomie dePaola. Brand new this year, this is a lighter story that relates to the tradition of giving your animals special treats on Epiphany...
Federico and the Magi's Gift by Beatriz Vidal. A different take on Epiphany from the traditions of Latin America. I really like the sweet Lois Lensky-like illustrations in this book.
The Stone: A Persian Legend of the Magi by Dianne Hofmeyr. This is an excellent book based on an excellent legend and you'll find it a nice break to think about what happened on the way back from visiting the Child Jesus...
Danny and the Kings by Susan Cooper. Another fresh take on what the Epiphany is all about. A young, poor boy just wants a Christmas tree for his young brother to see… he hears that the 3 kings are still traveling the world leaving gifts; can it be true?
Small Camel Follows the Star by Rachel Brown. Alovely story from yet another camel's perspective. Small camel is carrying a very important bundle on his back… it's nice to see attention to details like the wise men visiting the Newborn Baby at His house rather than the stable.
"O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light."