Set in biblical times, the story of Nicanor's Gate―one of the entrances to the Temple in Jerusalem―shows how a man's faith is important to living a happy, fulfilled life. Nicanor, a wealthy merchant from Alexandria, is thrilled when King Herod calls on him to assist in rebuilding the ruined Temple in Jerusalem. Nicanor orders massive, beautifully intricate doors to be built, especially for the Eastern Gate of the Temple, but disaster strikes while the gates are being shipped from Alexandria to Jerusalem. To escape sinking, the ship must reduce its load, and one of the doors is pushed into the sea. But a miracle happens: the heavy door surfaces, is recovered from the sea, and installed as an entrance to the Temple area.
Eric A. Kimmel has been writing for children for more than 40 years. His 100-plus titles include such classics as Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock and The Chanukkah Guest. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
Alida Massari is an Italian artist specializing in illustration for children. Born in Rome where she studied illustration at the European Institute of Design, she finds inspiration for her work from folk traditions and ancient art. She has illustrated many books, collaborating with Italian, English, German, and American publishers. She lives in Rome, Italy.