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Ratings & Reviews for

We Three Kings

5 stars
57 (37%)
4 stars
59 (39%)
3 stars
32 (21%)
2 stars
3 (1%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews
Profile Image for Kathryn.
4,341 reviews
December 17, 2009
I cannot deny that Spirin's art is gorgeous, rich and detailed. In "We Three Kings" there is a classical European style to the artwork while also having a distinctive Eastern flavor. However, I did not feel that the book presentation is particularly outstanding. The story merely reprints the lyrics for the song which, while creating a good foundation for some lovely artwork, is probably not all that appealing to children since it uses big words and is not always the cheerful or cozy Christmas type favored for family holiday storytime. Also, the artwork is repetitive--each time the "chorus" of the song is repeated the SAME artwork is shown. It's a stunning spread of angels but, alas, I was quite tired of it by the third viewing and wondered why we couldn't have had more variety--I also would have been rather annoyed if I had purchased the book and found so many repeats! I will certainly seek out more of Spirin's works and hope that they are put to better storytelling use and hold more variety.
Profile Image for Karina.
811 reviews60 followers
December 27, 2019
The illustrations are fantastic, and the baby loved my singing especially the refrain. He was smiling. Others are commenting about the repetitiveness, but children really like that: if something is good they want to see it again, hear it again. Children like predictability. It's only adults that think it's weird, and want more variety.
Profile Image for Abigail.
7,174 reviews187 followers
December 6, 2018
Russian-born and educated artist Gennady Spirin, whose previous picture-book forays into the world of Christmas include The Twelve Days of Christmas , The Night Before Christmas , and The Christmas Story (not to mention the holiday collection, Joy to the World: A Family Christmas Treasury ), here turns his attention to that beloved Christmas carol, We Three Kings of Orient Are. Using the lyrics of the song as his text, Spirin depicts the Three Kings (or Magi), their marvelous gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and the glorious host of angels that oversee their journey.

Written by the Reverend John Henry Hopkins, Jr., an American Episcopal minster, in the nineteenth-century - the date given on the dust-jacket blurb here in 1857, although I understand that it was first published in 1863, in Hopkins' Carols, Hymns, and Songs - We Three Kings has always been one of my favorite Christmas carols, and I enjoyed reading it this morning on the train, while also listening to a recording of it by The Deller Consort. That said, although I love the carol, and appreciated the artwork, I wasn't as thrilled with this one as I expected to be. Spirin's paintings here are beautiful, but their details are rather blurred, and the repetition of the scene with the angels - the same exact painting is used, each time the refrain of the song appears - began to be rather tiring after a while, despite its loveliness.

Despite these issues, overall I enjoyed this picture-book, and I recommend it to fans of the carol (it's the only picture-book presentation of We Three Kings with which I am familiar) and to fans of Gennady Spirin.
Profile Image for Hugo's Mom.
151 reviews
December 9, 2020
Gorgeous book. Spirin is a master. Should be in every Christmas picture book collection.
Profile Image for Lauren Duffy.
209 reviews1 follower
December 5, 2019
This picture book is a quick read because it’s just the lyrics from the Christmas carol. The extremely elaborate illustrations are really what make this book. I read it to my son during our homeschool Christmas unit and it did lead to some good discussions about the 3 Wise Men and what they brought, as well as a good pictorial description of the heavenly host. If you’re looking for a book focusing on the true meaning of Christmas this is a nice one to pick up.
Profile Image for Ruth.
1,410 reviews36 followers
October 9, 2018
absolutely gorgeous illustrated version of the song. All the verses are illustrated, and the music is included in the back. By the time we got to the end of the book, I was totally done with the same illustrated chorus on every other two page spread. It would have been better if the illustrations were different each time.
Profile Image for Susan.
155 reviews
December 14, 2019
The illustrator uses the song as the basis for this elaborate and highly detailed depiction of the story of the three kings and their journey to Bethlehem. While masterful, the same illustration is used multiple times for the chorus, and although lovely, I didn’t love this book as much as some others by Spirin.
Profile Image for Kami.
528 reviews34 followers
January 2, 2019
The illustrations were fabulous and ornate, BUT the ones with the same repeated lines from the song (the story is just the song), it has the same picture over and over again. So annoying. But my kids did like it.
Profile Image for Set.
1,566 reviews
April 10, 2018
This is a beautiful illustrated book with the words to We Three Kings of Orient with a lovely sheet music at the end for piano.
69 reviews2 followers
January 8, 2020
Beautiful, detailed illustrations to the lyrics of the well known song
Profile Image for Sara Massie.
10 reviews
January 12, 2023
This book is the song "We Three Kings" in beautiful paintings. I thought it would be more of a story form than hymn in paintings. The paintings are beautiful.
35 reviews
May 1, 2019
Genre: picture book- religious picture book
Awards: none
Audience: k-2nd grade
A: I know that this book fits into the category because its talking about when the 3 kings went to give presents to baby Jesus, which is also a Christmas song.
B: I really loved the texture in this book, I really felt like I could reach out and pet the horses and feel the grass on my finger. It made the book intriguing to read and exiting to find out what I could imagine touching.
C: I would probably use this book if I was teaching about different cultures or religions and was on the topic of Christian holidays.
D: What was the repeated line in the book?
"O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light."
450 reviews3 followers
September 12, 2015
Beautifully illustrated, though I did think that it was a bit of a cheat using exactly the same picture for the chorus every time! I'm sure I'll get this out and enjoy it at Christmas for years to come.
Profile Image for Marianne.
107 reviews5 followers
August 1, 2008
Here's one of the most beautifully illustrated Christmas book. Definitely a keeper and one to have in your collection of Christmas books. It is the song "We Three Kings" Highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Teri.
2,489 reviews22 followers
January 10, 2012
Fine for a christmas sing-along book--wish the illustrations were better. I'm not one for a "haloed" baby Jesus, or Mary, or all the angels.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews