So when I saw there was a children's version -- Heaven is for Real for Kids -- I was certainly interested in taking a look and sharing it with my kids.
I chose to review this as an ebook, and put it onto the kids' iPad (so we could see the gorgeous illustrations).
Here is what the publisher has to say about it:
Heaven is for real, and you are going to like it!
Colton Burpo came back from his trip to heaven with a very important message: Jesus really, really loves children. In effort to reach even more families with this eternally significant story, this runaway bestseller is now told from Colton—kid to kids! Children will receive the same comfort and assurance that so many adults have received from the trade book.
Beautifully illustrated, under Colton's direction, this book is uniquely written from a child for a child. Colton tells of his experiences in first person and comments on things that will be important to kids. A letter to parents is included to guide them in talking to their children about heaven. Scripture along with Q&A section with answers from the Bible are also included in the book.What did we think?
When I got the book, I read through the first few pages which are addressed to the parents or grandparents. With that, I had some idea as to what to expect. Plus, obviously, I had read the "grown-up" version of the story too. So before I got too far in reading this picture book, I explained a bit about what happened. That was mostly for my double-digit boys -- the nearly 11, nearly 13 and 14 year olds. But my 7 year old picked up on the fact that this is a true story. He was not understanding that as we started.
I sat down all five kids and I read through the book. And we talked about it. The older ones appreciated the Bible verses throughout. The younger two thought those broke up the story too much and were confusing. When I next read it to just them, I'll probably skip that part, or only read one or two instead of all of them.
We talked about heaven though. "It's hard to imagine never being angry with Trina again," said Richard.
"Will there be helicopters and tanks in heaven?" was his first question. His big brothers insisted there was no need for tanks since nobody would be fighting. And we probably wouldn't need helicopters either. Richard was a bit disappointed, as "helicopters and tanks are fascinating."
Trina wanted to know if we'd be too hot or too cold in heaven. When I said I imagined it would always be "just right," she then wanted to know if there would be snow. How does one answer that? I told her that there would probably be snow for playing in, but it wouldn't be so cold that you couldn't play and it wouldn't keep you from getting where you wanted to go. That seemed to satisfy her.
These weren't exactly the questions I expected, but the conversation was great. The older two got into a bit of a discussion themselves about how we can't imagine a world without anger and sadness because all we've ever known is a world impacted by sin. Sometimes they impress me...
I think I'm going to ask the older guys if they are interested in listening to the 'grown-up' book... because regardless of whether this "really happened" this story does open up amazing conversation opportunities.
Disclaimer: As a Booksneeze Blogger, I did receive this ebook for free from Thomas Nelson. No other compensation was received. For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.