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Listening With My Heart: A Story of Kindness and Self-Compassion
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Listening With My Heart: A Story of Kindness and Self-Compassion

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  336 ratings  ·  47 reviews
When Esperanza finds a heart-shaped rock, she sees it as a reminder to spread kindness and love in the world. But when the school play doesn’t go the way she’d imagined, will she remember to give it to herself?

In today’s hypercompetitive world, kids often internalize the message that their worth is attached to their accomplishments and that messing up is something to be as
Kindle Edition, 36 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by Skinned Knee Publishing
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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 ·  336 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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While the central themes pertaining to practicing self-love and not being too hard on oneself are of course and indeed of the utmost importance and significance, personally and from a simple reading pleasure point of view, I have found Gabi Garcia's Listening With My Heart much much too message-heavy and frustratingly contrived (read artificial) and thus really not all that realistic either. For while I do tend to agree with EVERYTHING the author has stated, it (at least to and for me) does not ...more
Melissa Kapadia
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just purchased this for my friend's 5-year old and think this is a very sweet book with a very good message. I love the ways this book enacts inclusion and gives examples of how to enact compassion in the everyday. ...more
Mario MJ Perron
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Beautifully written.
Beautifully illustrated.
Excellent message for all ages.

I can't wait to read this to my class and I very much appreciate the lesson prompts at the end of the story.

This is a wonderful story and lesson plan all in one.
Eve Costarelli
Listening With My Heart: A Story Of Kindness And Self-Compassion by Gabi Garcia shares the messages of awareness, self -respect and friendliness, using positive self talk within a story that empowers you to being true to yourself. The spirit of the book is openhearted and generous and the illustrations are super adorable. The message is clear-be compassionate and kind to yourself so that you can reach past yourself and extend the kindness to others. The illustrator, Ying Hui Tan, has really deve ...more
Lisa Stritzel
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great read for counselors who work with younger children who are faced with neglect and abuse traumas to help them .
Tiffany Peppers
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very thoughtful

The illustrations were perfect. The message was clear. This book teaches children to love themselves, and gives tips on how they can do so.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love it so much

It’s so awesome and great it reminds me about how I need to be kind to every one,including myself. love it so much
Kaylee Mouser
This book is about not only being kind to others, but being kind to yourself. Young Esperanza was rehearsing for her play outside when she came across something on the floor, a heart shaped rock. She felt that it was a sign that she needed to put her heart into everything she does. She wanted to be the spotlife of the play. As she talked to her mom about this, they heard a kitten cry. They hold it as Esperanza feeds it some of her lunch. She begs her mom to keep the kitten she had so quickly nam ...more
Annie Lynn of AnnieBirdd Music, LLC
Wonderful Author finds Wonderful Artist & MAGIC!

I wasn’t expecting much from this book because I thought it might be babyish. Surprisingly I found myself sucked into the story, the feelings, & the illustrations which are incredible and completely represent what the author describes. This book should be in every classroom. If all kids could learn the level of heart swelling empathy that these main protagonists have, the world would be a better place, I’m certain. I hope to order this book if it
Mervin Wilson
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book shows vulnerability through messages of awareness, self -respect and friendliness, using positive self talk within a story that empowers you to being true to yourself. The book at its core is openhearted and generous. The message seems to promote self compassion and kindness to the point where you can reach past yourself and extend the kindness to others. The illustrator, Ying Hui Tan, has really developed her style and palette. The children's wide-eyed expressive faces display great e ...more
Emily Sammartino
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-lit
Esperanza finds a heart shaped rock and sees this as a reminder to be kind and spread love. She goes on to spread kindness and love to everyone she encounters. When she messes up at the play, she does not pay herself the same respect. I haven't read a book quite like this one. I love the message and meaning behind the book. There are many books that talk about being kind to others, but not many that talk about being kind to yourself. Often times in life we are the hardest on ourselves and it is ...more
Self-compassion is something that we should definitely teach our children from a young age. Gabri Garcia’s Listening With My Heart: A Story of Kindness and Self-Compassion is a great start! There is no doubt that self-compassion builds emotional resiliency. Spurred by the illustrations of Ying Hui Tan, the book speaks to the importance of spreading kindness and love, especially to yourself. It also speaks to how we all make mistakes and shows how these mistakes can make us stronger. Garcia s ...more
Esperanza finds a heart-shaped rock and is inspired to share love and kindness, which comes full circle when she makes a mistake and needs help remembering to show herself kindness and compassion as well.

It's a sweet story with a direct message that models simple ways even children can demonstrate compassion. A bit more plot or character development would have bumped my rating to 5 stars, but the message earns every bit of the 4 stars! I absolutely love that nearly all the characters have varyi
Marilyn Maldonado
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a good book. I love the Latina representation and the illustrations, the color choice is on point and is an interesting choice of illustration for the storyline. Esperanza does sound a little beyond her years but I think the word choice suits the storyline in the sense that this book would be good for late 2nd grade for them to read before entering third grade where they'll be struggling a lot over their own identity and self-compassion. ...more
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very sweet. Young Esperanza is nervous about her lines in the school play, but makes sure she has time to be kind to the motherless kitten and befriend the lonely new kid. When she trips, literally and over her lines, she is unkind to herself. She takes it as a sign that she should "be the friend she needs."

Cute kids, great art, wonderful message.

Recommended for at home read alouds. Author is a public school counselor and former teacher.
Lynn  Davidson
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Esperanza is nervous about the school play. On her way to school she finds a heart-shaped stone that reminds her to do everything from her heart. She is kind to a new student who is lonely. When it is Esperanza's turn in the play she messes up, but realizes she must also be kind to herself.
This is an e-book and includes tips for children on how to have compassion for oneself and the verbal exercises (positive self-talk) to do. Lovely illustrations.
Morgan Carew
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The writer is right on with this book. Teaching kids that their total self-worth is not tied to their accomplishments is difficult. We can feel good about ourselves when we find a unique rock or a stray kitty that needs to be rescued. The book teaches kids just because there is one imperfect thing that happened doesn’t mean the child is imperfect. I’ve been a foster parent. I’m going to recommend this book to other foster parents.
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Be kind to yourself, not just others

This book has a great message for kids. It’s easy to be kind to others, but we can often be unkind to ourselves. We must accept our failures and learn from it. There’s always tomorrow to try it again. Even as an adult, I can learn the lesson about self-compassion.
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautiful story for children, wonderful reminder for adults ❤

As an early childhood educator who believes that positive social emotional development is key for lifelong success, I loved reading this story. I also believe this is a great reminder for adults to spread love but especially to ourselves
Sara L.
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This beautiful book has an engaging story about kindness and self-compassion. In this book, Esperanza finds a heart-shaped rock that later she has as a reminder of love and kindness to others and herself as well. A great book that reminds us to be kind to ourselves! :) It has vivid illustrations!
Abigail Cruz
This book and the illustrations are so special. Writing about self-compassion is especially important in children's literature because it is in literature that they learn valuable lessons that will help them as they grow. Not only is the subject incredibly important, but the representation of a Latinx child being the main character. I love that the character learns that the same love and compassion she shows to others is the same love and kindness she should show to herself. It isn't a selfish t ...more
Shannon Parkin
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I hope every child young and old will read, hear and live this book. We all need more self-compassion. Now is the time to learn how to listen with our hearts especially this September, Suicide prevention month.
I just read this book to my computer and posted it on my Facebook page.
Choose to be a friend to yourself as well as to others.
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Self love is good love

Positive uplifting and introspective. Loved the simplicity of act that are of deeper meanings. Great for children to help understand the capacity we must have for ourselves.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Being kind to yourself & others

This is a good book for educators (teachers, assistants, counselors, social workers, and/or psychologists) to use with elementary school aged children.
Sandra St Martin
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great read

This was a much needed read in our home. My daughter is a great friend however can be very hard on herself. I could see her understanding the connection to her own world. I would recommend this book
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great 👍

My 7year old and I read this book. We enjoyed this story. It helps teach children to be kind to themselves as well as others. Kids need more positive energy and that starts with loving you👍💖
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I like this book to read with kids who are very hard on themselves. We all know those kids...the perfectionists who struggle with making mistakes. This is going to help them realize- perhaps after repeated readings- that it is OK to make mistakes and still love yourself.
Sandra Miller
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fiction: SEL
There are many books about being kind to other people. It is great to see a book about being kind to yourself! Love this story about Esperanza and how she realizes how she has been a friend to others, but not herself.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
LOVE this book! Awesome to promote good conversations with kids.
Katherine Phouthavong
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book

My son loved this book. It was a perfect way to explain self love. We tend to forget to treat ourselves with the same compassion as others.
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Gabi Garcia is a mama, Licensed Professional Counselor and former teacher who believes that empowering children to tune into and trust their bodies is a lifelong gift. She has worked as a therapist in a variety of setting for over 15 years and currently works as a public school counselor.

Gabi agrees that we teach what we most need to learn, and she always has better days when she listens to her bo

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