Children's Books, KidLit, Poetry, Raspberry Reads, Uncategorized, Writers and Authors

Raspberry Reads When I Get To Heaven

IMG_7625Today Raspberry is reading a very special book, one with a serious side that’s told in a whimsical way. When I Get To Heaven by Angela Pullen Atherton came to be some five years ago when the author was with a company that was doing work with St. Jude’s Hospital. In that hospital were children fighting for their lives, while also experiencing great anxiety about what “after” might mean. Additionally, Atherton had friends whose children shared that same concern, as did some adults she knew. She felt compelled to write a story that might ease those fears, and within a couple of hours the words flowed and When I Get To Heaven was born. But, as sometimes happens, life got busy and the story was tucked away for a number of years.

The rest of the book’s history is best told by the author herself …

In January 2016, I was cleaning out files while talking to my sister on the phone.  She had been sick for a few years and we talked almost every day.  I ran across the story and read it to her. She cried for the rest of our conversation and made me promise to find a way to get it published and to illustrate it.  I immediately started researching publishers and ended up sending it to a few. Then I sort of forgot about it again, some time passed and so I figured there was no interest. In April I received a call from the publisher who wanted to co-publish with me, everything sounded good and by May we had signed contracts.

My sister was soooo excited she wanted me to send her the story so she could post it on Facebook! I had to reel her back in since there was no copyright on it yet. She was so proud and often asked me to read it to her over the phone. June 13th, 2016 my sister went to Heaven.  She never saw my illustrations but she got to see it all first hand.  I dedicated it to her and the little girl is in her childlike image. My hopes is that this little book brings peace and comfort to children and adults both.  That they may know the love and beauty God has prepared for us.

When I Get To Heaven is available at traditional brick and mortar bookstores, or online at Amazon, Apple iTunes Store, Kobo and Barnes & Noble. A synopsis of the story can also be found on YouTube.

Excerpt from When I Get To Heaven

IMG_7444When I get to Heaven,
I will stay up late every night.
I will ride a golden Camel
And fly kites with twinkle light.

When I get to Heaven,
I’ll wear flowers in my hair,
I’ll run through fields of Dandelions
And watch all the seeds fly in the air.

IMG_7446

When I get to Heaven,
There will be no sadness or pain,
There will be days and days of sunshine,
And it will never have to rain.

When I get to Heaven,
There will be a party every day.
There will be cakes, balloons, and candy,
and lots of kids who want to play.

IMG_7449When I get to Heaven,
I’ll have a zoo that’s all my own
Where the animals can talk and walk with me,
I’ll never have to be alone,
unless I want to be.

When I get to Heaven,
I’ll play checkers with a fancy Big Baboon,
I’ll play hopscotch with a Polar Bear,
And then howl Love songs to the Moon.

Angela Pullen Atherton was a full-time illustrator for over twenty-five years working for companies such as F+W Media, Hoffman Media and Annie’s Publishing. For the past five years, she’s been doing freelance work for the same companies. She has a BFA in Illustration and Design from Auburn University (go Tigers!) and it has long been her dream and passion to be a children’s book illustrator and, possibly, author. In 2017 that dream became a reality.

Atherton has created thousands of original and licensed designs for companies like Disney, Dreamsicles and Precious Moments. Additionally, she’s done thousands more embroidery designs for a variety of sewing machine companies, along with innumerable book and magazine illustrations.

All of her work is done by hand, sans digital assistance, primarily with watercolors, but also with other mixed media.


 

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