Weather Forecast

Click for Wauneta, Nebraska Forecast

Heaven childrens’ book now out PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 27 October 2011 17:35


By Carolyn Lee

The Imperial Republican


The children’s version of “Heaven is for Real,” written for children by a child, is now out. “Heaven is for Real for Kids” was dictated in the first person by Colton Burpo of Imperial.

Todd and Sonya Burpo and their publisher, Thomas Nelson, are in the process of filling orders for the $14.99 book. As a “soft” release, it is available in locations such as The Imperial Republican. The books’ official release date is Nov. 10.

Colton’s dad said the original book, “Heaven is for Real,” was his perspective on Colton’s illness and near death when he was four years old. The children’s book is Colton’s story in his own words from his perspective.

“We had a stronger vision on the children’s book,” Todd said. “I’m very pleased with the way it turned out. Even though we’re talking about the same stuff, there are different testimonies.”

Todd added, “Who better to talk to other children than a child?”

Colton’s parents have been “pleased with the way he’s been engaged all the way. He’s worked with every decision every step of the way, and is very committed.”

Colton helped choose the illustrations for the book. He has also just recorded his book for an application that can be downloaded to an Ipad.

“The children’s book is my favorite,” Todd commented recently. “There’s more information about heaven. People are going to have something great to talk to children about heaven” after reading it.

The Burpos asked the 12-year old what he wants people to know from his story. “I want them to know that heaven is for real,” he replied without hesitation.

The new book is one in a series of adventures the Burpos are experiencing.

The original book, by Todd Burpo, has been on the New York Times Bestselling paperback list since December 5, 2010, one month after publication. It has been number one for 39 weeks.

It has also been number one for 22 weeks on the print hardcover and paperback combined nonfiction list; number one for 12 weeks on the e-book nonfiction list, and 23 weeks at number one on the combined print and e-book nonfiction list.

As of Oct. 13, “Heaven is for Real” has also been on the USA Today Bestsellers list for 46 weeks, and is currently in the number nine position.

Internationally, on Canada’s Globe and Mail’s bestsellers list for Oct. 7, the book is in the number two position after four weeks at number one, according to Stephanie Newton of Thomas Nelson.

The Burpos were interviewed for a DVD concerning the first book, which is available soon. Todd explained that it’s a conversation kit that can be used in sermons and small group discussions.

He said so many people want to hear the Burpos’ message in person that the DVD was the logical way to go. The Burpos still attend interviews and speaking engagements, though.

As a matter of fact, they’re in the middle of week four of a seven week publicity blitz for “Heaven is for Real for Kids.” They tend to go in different directions at different times.

Sonya said she’s the “time keeper” of the family, saying “We’ll do this and we won’t do that.”

“We are trying to keep our lives as normal as possible.” It helps that friends and their church family help out with their children remaining at home.

Gabe Wicks of the children’s department of Thomas Nelson, the publisher of “Heaven is for Real for Kids,” fits Colton Burpo with a microphone, above. The 12-year-old Imperial boy recorded his book in Imperial last week. The new children's book can be purchased at the Wauneta Breeze office.


Colton, a seventh grader at Chase County Schools, is involved in wresting, show choir, piano lessons, youth group and more, as well as giving interviews.

“We try to keep Colton normal as a 12-year old,” Sonya said Tuesday.

She said it helps that people involved with the books—the publishing house, musicians and others—are visiting Imperial and getting an idea of “what our life’s like.”

Todd, pastor of Crossroads Wesleyan Church of Imperial, and his executive pastor Phil Harris, are in the process of collaborating on a reminder, or devotional, book. With 90 excerpts from “Heaven is for Real,” the book will be designed to “keep reminding people to focus on heavenly things,” Todd said.

The Burpos are also working with SONY to produce a movie based on the books. It’s a two to three-year process to write a screenplay, find a producer, cast the actors, film and edit, Todd noted.

“You can’t rush the process. You can’t turn out a good, quick screenplay. I never sought to write the book,” let alone a movie, he stated. “God brought this to us.”

Sonya said the whole experience is “to make the most of what we have to share Jesus with people.”

Sonya said the success of “Heaven is for Real” has challenged the family with extensive travel, meeting a lot of people, making new decisions every day, and improving time management.

“We’re overwhelmed by the response the book is still receiving,” she declared.

Todd said a lot of people are wondering who benefits by the book’s success. “No publishing company is going to publish a book and pay an author unless it (the company) makes a profit. It’s a business.”

He said Thomas Nelson paid itself first out of proceeds from the book. The author, Todd, owns the story while the publisher owns the book.

The Burpos are receiving royalties from the book. The money hasn’t changed the basic way the family lives, but “we can support things and do things we never had,” Todd said. “It’s a blessing. We give to childrens’ ministries, and are giving away more now. We honor God with our finances.”

Five children’s ministries, including the recent Feed My Starving Children, have benefitted by the book’s success, Todd noted.

“We didn’t write the book to make money,” he added. “We don’t know why God’s entrusted us with the story.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 October 2011 17:40