A young boy offers a cheery vision of heaven with an evangelical aim.
Three-year-old Colton Burpo came out of an emergency appendectomy with quite a tale to tell, reporting to his parents that he had been to heaven and describing all the wonders he saw there. Colton’s father, a pastor, co-authored a popular nonfiction book for adults about Colton’s experience, which has spawned a franchise of books, DVDs and other merchandise. This board-book version of Colton’s story represents heaven as a beautiful place with rainbows, bright lights and golden streets, where “everyone who knows and loves Jesus gets to go.” In heaven, no one gets scared or sick, and children are told that Jesus will take them there one day if they believe in him. Colton’s voice comes through clearly, reminding readers that they are getting a child’s perspective. For example, when describing the wounds on Jesus’ hands, he says: “Jesus has markers on His hands. A long time ago, He had to die on the cross. But now Jesus is alive!” The illustrations feature a bearded, white Jesus with a crown, purple sash and sandals, surrounded by winged angels of all ages and ethnicities.
Unlikely to have wide appeal and far too sophisticated for actual babies and toddlers, this offering will be appreciated by Christian parents seeking titles that affirm their religious convictions, especially those already familiar with Colton’s story. (Board book. 4-8)