Short Stories of Heaven, by Christina Richardson | Dedicated Review
By Christina Richardson
Age Range: Ages 4 and up
Hardcover: 47 pages
Publisher: 5 Fold Media (January 16, 2014)
What to expect: Loss, Illness, Religion, Angels
As a mother, I think it’s hard to read any story that deals with the loss of a child, but Christina Richardson’s Short Stories of Heaven handles the topic with gentleness and grace. She begins her story by having “the Light” appear to a young boy to let him know that someone is coming to guide him on his way, but first, “There was a storm coming upon a high sea”—but not to worry, because after the storm, there would be a place waiting for him. And thus begins the boy’s journey, through life and death and beyond, in which we are presented with images of his suffering and the sadness of his family, juxtaposed with glimpses of hope and the peace and joy that await the boy when he reaches his final destination.
Richardson’s illustrations, which she did herself, are beautiful, and have a soothing, calming aura about them, even though the subject matter is difficult. The four short stories are beautifully woven together, and give the reader a glimpse into the minds of the sick boy as he battles illness, knowing that his journey will take him somewhere else, as well as the thoughts of his sister as she watches the angels take him to heaven. It also deals with the sense of loss that those who the boy left behind experience, from his sister (who develops a relationship with the angels) to the West Wind, personified as a wizard, who guides the boy through his illness and then grants him a wish before he passes to the other side.
Short Stories of Heaven is a wonderful resource for children and their families who are dealing with loss and terminal illness, as well as people who are looking for a way to explain the afterlife to children. I will admit, I shed a tear or two at the end of the boy’s journey—but this book does an excellent job filling the reader with a sense of hope that the boy found happiness, freedom from his suffering, and peace in heaven.
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