For centuries, the story of the wise men who followed the Star has been told pretty much the same way. Not anymore. Now there’s the story of The Worried Wiseman, a beautifully illustrated picture book with a unique spin on one wise man’s journey to find the child King… and his own self-confidence.
Written and illustrated by the multi-talented Susan Eaddy, The Worried Wiseman is the enchanting story of Melchior, a wise man whose sleep is disturbed by repeated dreams of a bright Star calling him on a journey. The Star wants to lead him to the newborn King who will change the world, but Melchior is afraid to act. What if he gets lost in the desert? What if he and his camel cannot find food or water? And what if something happens to his beloved father while he’s away?
After his father convinces him to trust his camel’s sense of direction and its nose for danger — and safety, Melchior sets out to find the Star that will lead him to the child. But on the way he is hit with a new set of worries: He encounters two more wisemen also in search of the new King and wonders if one of them might be the dangerous man he has been dreaming of. Thankfully, Melchior’s faithful camel is not worried about the two wisemen, so Melchior’s fears are calmed and the three wise men travel many days to find the child King.
The Worried Wiseman is such a lovely book! The illustrations are made of clay, and finished in colors so lush and rich that readers will almost certainly have to gaze at them twice. Ms. Eaddy’s writing style is touching and sweet, and goes right to the heart of both children and adult readers. It should be noted that though the book is definitely an endearing spin on the classic story of the wisemen who followed the star, it is also a beacon of light and comfort to any child whose confidence needs building and whose worries need smoothing away.
Use this book during the holidays as an addition to your holiday staples, as an inspiration for discussions on worries and fears, or simply because your students (or your children) cherish the telling and re-telling of the gift of the Magi. Enjoy!