Though his Conversations with God, Book 1 may be a bestseller, Walsch's attempts to scale down part of that book into a work for children may well leave young readers, and their parents, scratching their heads. In this utterly confusing parable, a little soul discusses at length with God how he can learn to experience who he really is and which "part of special" he wants to be. The little soul decides he wants to be forgiving; thus another little soul soon obliges by offering to do something "not-so-nice," so that the first little soul can experience forgiveness. Amid the cryptic phrasing and the often cumbersome sentence structures, some strong imagery and positive Christian attitudes do come through. Such messages as "everybody is special, each in their own way" and "it is special to be kind; it is special to be creative" are important for all children to hear, regardless of their faith. Unfortunately, some readers may not stick with this story long enough to glean such lessons. Riccio's scene of child-angels in monk-like frocks walking on what appear to be clouds will surely inspire further questions about perceptions of Heaven. Ages 6-10. (Apr.)
Neale Donald Walsch is the author of more than twelve books and the founder of the Conversations with God Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the world to help itself move from violence to peace, from confusion to clarity, and from anger to love.