With biblical references as a starting point, Linda Sue Park tells a unique Christmas/Epiphany tale about the third gift brought to the infant Jesus by the Magi, the gift of myrrh.A boy and his father are gatherers of myrrh, a precious substance used in important ceremonies. It's the sap of certain trees, hardened into pearl-like beads, and the gatherers look for it on the tree trunks. The boy narrator finds one big enough to fill his two hands. When they take their myrrh to market, this extraordinary "pearl" is bought by three strangers in colorful robes . . . as a baby gift. And as the three men ride off into the desert, the young narrator is proud to have made such a fine discovery, and he wonders about the baby. Luminous, exquisitely detailed paintings of the desert landscape, the myrrh gatherers, and the marketplace make this story breathtaking as well as unforgettable. An author's note discusses the origins of the story and the little-known facts about myrrh.