I Can Only Imagine (picture book)

I Can Only Imagine (picture book)

by Bart Millard


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Encourage your children’s sense of wonder and faith with I Can Only Imagine, inspired by the hit song by MercyMe. This beautiful picture book will capture your family’s childlike faith and imagination.

I Can Only Imagine asks questions a child might ask and invites families to wonder together: What is heaven like? What does God do? What would it be like to spend a day with Jesus? Children will see that although experiencing the glory of heaven may be far off, we can enjoy a friendship with Jesus every day - right here on earth. Whimsical, playful illustrations and thought-provoking questions make this a book that families will cherish.

Fun and vibrant illustrations offer a vivid visual and will help your children see that God can be found everywhere, every day.

I think about heaven as I look up at the sky

And watch the fluffy clouds roll by.

The more I imagine, the more I wish I knew.

I wonder, would God like pancakes with extra syrup too?

And if God and I spent the day together, what exactly would we do?

The Christian worship song “I Can Only Imagine” touched countless lives with its glorious representation of being in the presence of God, and this beautifully illustrated picture book invites you and your children to imagine those same wonders. Share the joy of a personal relationship with the Lord with your family today through the creative, faith-filled book I Can Only Imagine.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400321339
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 03/13/2018
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 375,010
Product dimensions: 9.90(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Bart Millard is a founding member and lead singer of the multi-platinum selling contemporary Christian band MercyMe. He is married to his childhood sweetheart, Shannon. They reside in Franklin, TN along with their children Sam, Gracie, Charlie, Sophie and Miles.

Read an Excerpt


I can only imagine what it will be like When I walk by Your side. I can only imagine what my eyes will see When Your face is before me. I can only imagine ...

The more I imagine, the more I wish I knew. If I went to heaven, just what would I do? Would I wear scratchy robes and sing in a choir? Would I bounce in the clouds, going higher and higher?

Do you wake up in heaven with your hair all a mess?

Must you make up your bed right before you get dressed?

Is there breakfast in heaven when your tummy's all rumbly? Are there fluffy pancakes and big biscuits so crumbly?

Do the houses in heaven have big rooms and spaces? Did God think of me when He built all those places?

Like basketball courts, a swing, and a slide, Or a super-cool playhouse with doors on two sides?

The more I imagine, the more I wish I knew.

If I spent the day with God, what exactly would we do?

Would Jesus play with me? Would He like what I like? Would He race with a wagon or ride on a bike?


Excerpted from "I Can Only Imagine"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Bart Millard.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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I Can Only Imagine 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bart did a wonderful job. I cried, laughed, and was spiritually moved. Thank you Bart for sharing your story. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't stop reading from page to page. I read the book in one day, I couldn't put it down. The book really made me think of my trials I have had through life. I had a monster of a dad but unfortunately, I didn't get to witness the same outcome that Bart did with his dad. The movie & this book has really made me think more about my relationship with God. Thank you Bart for sharing your story through the movie & book. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. My 11 year old son is hooked & loves the music of Mercyme now. I have been listening to Mercyme since 2002 & love their music.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful story of love, forgiveness, and redemption.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very easy read and so inspirational! Never give up on your dreams! God is bigger, he can and will take you places you never dreamed of! Thank you Bart Millard for sharing your story with the world!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this after I saw the movie and I was as touched by the book as I was by the movie. In my humble opinion this is a must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bart Millard, the lead vocal of MercyMe, opens up in an intimate revealing of life in an abusive home. He's honest about his thoughts and feelings from then, how he would have been relieved if his father had passed away. How music and creative play were his escapes. Some might ask, "Did Got allow for Bart to be abused so he'd end up starting MercyMe?" I believe God can uses unfortunate circumstances for good. "He never drank or did drugs. He didn't need any help to fuel the rage." This surprised me. I'd always figured his rage and abuse was due to being an alcoholic. I guess even bitterness and regret can be just as much of a fuel as substances. "Thank the Lord for the prayers and provision of grandmas!" This is a phrase I've heard from my own mother. She's noted more than once that it was the influence and fervent prayers of her grandmother that saved her and drew her to a life in Christ. That doesn't mean she didn't have moments of straying far from Him, but ultimately, circumstances led her back and she's been serving him ever since. So when I saw that sentence from Bart that said, "Thank the Lord for the prayers and provision of grandmas" I immediately thought not only of my mom's testimony but also how she's helped guide and prayer for my kids as well. In fact, she's even praying for their kids in the future. "While I'm here on Earth, I am both a work in progress and already made whole because of the cross." Over half of the book focuses on Bart's life growing up with an abusive father and the eventual change that took place which provided much-needed emotional healing. The last part of the book is about the start of MercyMe, the inspiration of the song, I Can Only Imagine, and Bart's relationship with Shannon, all of which he could now see how God used certain circumstances in his life to lead him to where he was meant to be. Bart includes an appendix of 75 verses given to him by his youth pastor, Rusty Kennedy, one who was important in his walk with Christ. And now, he offers those same verses he carries close to his heart to the reader. This was an excellent read and intimate look into Bart's life, his struggles with growing up in an abusive home, the eventual healing that took place when his dad turned to Christ, and ultimately his trust in God through his life. Not just for MercyMe fans, this book is an important read for those that have struggled with bitterness and regret, anyone who's experienced verbal or physical abuse. It's a really encouraging and uplifting book with a little humor sprinkled here and here. I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest opinion. And personally, I really enjoyed reading it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book!! Read in only a few days.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Anonymous 11 months ago
GrandaddyA More than 1 year ago
Having heard the song by this title a number of times and having viewed the movie twice, I was drawn to the book. I was expecting to get a much more complete story than was portrayed in the movie and was definitely not disappointed. Bart Millard’s award-winning song was first received in radio stations on October 12, 2001. When I read that date in the book, I was amazed to realize that such a powerful worship song hit the airwaves one month and a day after 9/11. Obviously, the message of the book is far more important than a date, but the thought came to mind that God knew what was going to happen on 9/11 and had given Bart a song of hope and redemption that would minister to millions of people needing to hear a positive message at that moment in history. Did the events in the world help trigger the rapid rise in popularity of the song? To be honest the book doesn’t go there. These are just some meanderings of my own mind. As you will learn as you read, to say he had a rough childhood would probably be a gross understatement. Without the terrible events of his childhood and early teen years, would his life have taken the course that it did? Only God knows the answer to that. I imagine if you asked Bart about it, he just might give a similar answer. If you have never seen the movie, I recommend you view it first and then read the book to fill in some gaps.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved being able to read the full story not shown in the movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I appreciated Bart's transparency about his life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
so much more detail than in the movie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What an amazing true story.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
As I write this review I am listening to "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me. This is a wonderful song and this book is a great way to bring this message to children. It has a young boy wondering what Heaven is like from a child's perspective. From playing, to eating ice cream and of course spending time with animals, this makes Heaven a less scary place for children, especially if they have recently lost a loved one. Of course the message that we can have a relationship with our father God and his son Jesus here on earth and they are with us always is also communicated. The book started with the first part of the song and then was written in a rhyming text with an easy cadence. The colorful illustrations match what the child is thinking and talking about, such as eating ice cream, playing outside, or singing together over a campfire. This would make a great book for a family library or a Sunday School class or church library.
joyful334209 More than 1 year ago
I Can Only Imagine Is an amazing book. I was humbled just reading it, Mr. Millard's story is fantastic to read. To know all that he is gone through in his life and how GOD fit exclusively into it. It shows how GOD can truly heal a man. This story is so touching, and since listening to, and have all the CD's of- Mercy Me - it is a story I have been curious to read. Do not miss out on his story you will not regret it. I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all the opinions expressed in this review are all my own. if you would like to read more of my Christian book reviews go to christianlybookreviewers.blogspot.com
rkfall More than 1 year ago
My girls and I found this book to be a delight to read together. Every page had us looking for the puppy and seeing the funny thing that would come next. The full-colored pages are illustrated well and we enjoyed the storyline. Of course, the song is one of our favorites and that drew us into wanting to be sure to read this one. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bart Millard is now the lead singer for the band MercyMe. He is probably most famous for his song “I Can Only Imagine” and now for the movie about his life. But in the book, I Can Only Imagine, a memoir by Bart Millard with Robert Noland, readers get to take a deeper look into Bart’s life, beginning with the abuse from his father. As Bart grows up, his father still abuses him, but Bart also takes an interest in Christianity and music. Later, he decides to pursue music as a career and comes to write his most famous song for his father that had recently died. If you have seen the movie, then this book is perfect for behind the scenes events that took place in Bart’s life. However, this book is not based on the movie. Basically, it contains events from his life that did not make it into the movie. This book is absolutely wonderful though. It is filled with the message that God has huge plans for each one of us that do not always make sense at first. I received this book free from Book Look Bloggers. All ideas are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I seen the movie first and knew I had to read the book! It was nice to read about the things that weren't able to make it into the movie. This is an incredible story that keeps your attention the whole book. This is definitely worth the read even if you have already seen the movie.
MrsDBurkhardt More than 1 year ago
Pretty much everyone that listens to worship music, and probably a good number of Americans who don’t, are familiar with the song I Can Only Imagine. But where did the inspiration for the song come from? I knew from watching the concept music video many years ago that it was a tribute. But despite the fact that I’d seen Mercy Me play many times when I was younger, including a week long retreat to Glorietta, New Mexico for college week with Mercy Me providing worship, I wasn’t aware of all the pain and providence that led up to those words being penned. The movie gives the story in a nutshell, but on the pages of this book, Bart Millard takes the time to get a more complete version of the story out in the form of his memoirs. Wow. What a story. Bart went though some difficult times as a youth, particularly where it involved his father. But ultimately this is a story of the power of God and His redemption, as well as how God prepares His followers for years before His plan can be seen by us. I really think that everyone can connect with at least one part of this story. His collection of experiences is unique but there are those little parts here and there that everyone can read and just cry over. For me, it was the part where he mentions that after his Dad’s funeral was the hard part. Everyone else moves on with life and the support drops out when you need it the most. I experienced this when I lost my brother and I’ve said it to grieving friends for years. I’m not going to spoil it by getting into the details of the book, but I will say this is a worthwhile read for everyone. Read the book, watch the movie, and share it! Bart’s story is touching, real, and a clear case of God’s purpose despite the pain of living in a sinful world. I received this book for free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions and thoughts I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recommend it!
CafinatedReads2009 More than 1 year ago
Several years back, I was driving down the road. I was listening to a Christian radio station, loving the songs that were there. Then I hear the words, "I can only imagine...." and proceed to listen to the song. By the second verse, I had to pull over and listen closely. By the end of the second verse, I was bawling my eyes out, had my hands raised and was "praying" the song to the Lord. It was emotional and moving, and I knew that there had to be a story behind. This was the start of my love of MercyMe's work. Flash foward several years, now there's a movie called "I Can Only Imagine". I watch the trailer. I cry, yet again. from the feelings I get. Now, I have the chance to review the memoir about the story behind the song and movie. And, oh my. What. A. Story. It's raw. It's moving. It will leave you smiling, it will leave you crying, it may even leave you angry. But, it will bring you closer to God. It will make you fall to your knees once again, and really imagine what that moment would be like when you stand before your Creator. This is not a book I normally would pick up, as I'm not fond of memoirs, but this book, with it's pictures to coincide with Bart Millard's life, is beautifully, poignantly written and really brings forth the pain, the hurt, the anger and the redemption and forgiveness he went through. This is definitely one I recommend, with 5 stars and lots of praises! I can't wait to see the movie next! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
I Can Only Imagine (Picture Book) A Friendship with Jesus Now and Forever By Bart Millard with Laura Neutzling Illustrated by Sumiti Collina What is Heaven like? What does God do? Have you ever wondered this? With natural curiosity, most have at one time or another wondered about that which cannot be seen. I Can Only Imagine is just such a wondering. I Can Only Imagine has a wonderful flowing rhythm that paired with the illustrations offers the reader a soothing and peaceful story that allows the message of the book to be absorbed more fully. When reading this book I was reminded of the passage from John 14, specifically verse 3, "I go to prepare a place for you..." And this wondering and imagining of just what this place in Heaven is like is expressed here. This book is the perfect read for bedtime or just a snuggle time together in a favorite chair. There are 21 pages of text with a few additional pages that are just illustrations so it is a good length for shorter attention spans and yet not too short. The illustrations are colorful and cover an array of settings both indoors and out, day and night. I Can Only Imagine is one book you will want to share with all the young readers in your life opening up their minds to their own imaginings. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book through BookLook Bloggers with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written with colorful illustrations. The message is well written for children, reassuring we can all have a relationship with God, He is our friend for always.