The following quotes were taken from actual letters we received from people who reviewed the book. They are published with full acknowledgment and permission from all parties.
“Children need reminding, as we all do, that they are not their thoughts, even though it can sometimes seem that way. Thoughts can be powerful and at times scary. Here is a playful and wise picture book that gives young children simple ways to be more in touch with what is most essential and beautiful in themselves. The beauty of this book is that it conveys the deep message and practice of mindfulness without ever naming it or making it into some big intellectual thing.”
– Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn
co-authors, Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting
“This delightful book conveys the essence of mindfullness in joyful images and rhymes; the sweet simplicity on every page will support children (and parents) in bringing the peace of mindfulness into their daily lives.”
– Dr. Amy Saltzman
creator of Still Quiet Place: Mindfulness for Young Children CD, Modesto, CA
“I love the book; it’s beautiful! I can actually see the clouds as thoughts moving in the blue skies of my mind. This book is for children of all ages, and for all the children within us! As we are awakening, learning to breathe and live mindfully, this book brings a loving reminder and smile to the beauty and wonder of each present moment.”
– Tiana Mirapae
M.Ed., LCSW, Montague, MA
“What a wonderful book! It is something really delightful and accessible for little ones. I like the combination of words and pictures.”
– Ruth Folchman
psychologist and professor, Northampton, MA
“As a person who subscribes to Buddhist philosophy, I find it extremely honest and pure. As an educator, I believe this book would be very useful since it opens the doors for so many lessons and activities. I would especially love to use it at the beginning of the year, when we are establishing a community of love and respect in the classroom. I find it very understandable and kid-friendly. The pictures are excellent. The brightness and colors are sure to captivate the kids!”
– Lori Kyle
first grade teacher, Springfield, MA
“I love this book! The message in ‘You Are Not Your Thoughts’ is relevant for the frantic pace of today’s world. I think the most brilliant aspect is that gentle lessons will be absorbed not only by the children, but also by the adults who read it to them. The design is great, and supports the text wonderfully!”
– Doug Major
freelance designer, New York, NY
The reviews that mean the most to us are those that come from our readers and share how the book has affected the lives of family and friends.
I had the pleasure of reading a copy of this book, and it is such an amazing introduction to mindfulness. It is so purely stated and the photographs are colorful, vivid and bring the words to life. There are few books out there – especially for children – that capture the true essence of living life with moment to moment awareness. The act of mindfulness does not have to be overcomplicated, and this book has perfectly encompassed the simplicity of living out each moment of life with passion, energy, and the beautiful, open mind that children possess. Bravo!
This is a great way to share quality time with my granddaughter at bedtime. I find the book honest and pure while my granddaughter (3 yrs old) loves the pictures. Together we are exploring the importance of here and now. Since we started sharing this book there is a closeness that grows each time we discuss how one of the messages in the book relates to our daily experience. Throughout my day I am drawn to our evening discussions and it brings me back to the present moment.
“You Are Not Your Thoughts” captures much needed, calming thoughts for children (and adults). Kudos to Brian Despard for this wonderful book.
I recently purchased this book through Amazon in hopes I could integrate it into a program I use in classrooms. I am a school psychologist and combine mindfulness with yoga in K4 through middle school. This book has been a wonderful addition and am using it all the way into 3rd grade. I believe it would even be enjoyable to fourth and fifth graders. The adults I have shown the book to have really liked it. The pictures are fun for the children and the text is written in rhyme. The message about mindfulness when combined with the pictures makes a strong impression. I highly recommend this book to any teachers or parents who want to explain mindfulness to children. Brian Despard deserves an Educator Award for this work.
My grandchildren ask for your book You are not your thoughts to be read by me every night. We have fun doing the breathing together and the joy on the eldest face (5 years old) when she exclaimed, “I CAN feel the air around me! I can, I can!”. Its also a blessing when she can’t sleep because of ‘bad thoughts’ and she remembers to ‘Let them flow like a river’, just watch them pass. Thank you so very much Brian …. you have made a difference to two small lives. What an honour
I highly recommend Brian’s book. It is the best overall introduction to the concept of mindfulness that I have seen in such an accessible, fun, and brief format. I’ve used it with 3-5 year olds to great success.
– Kelly Ann Thomas, IN
This is the best introduction to mindfulness I have ever read for both children and adults. It is simple and yet incredibly profound. I have almost an entire bookshelf of mindfulness books for children and a very full shelf of mindfulness books for adults but this is the most accessible introduction to mindfulness that I’ve found that retains the full concept. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in mindfulness! I think it could be used with even the youngest children but I found it helpful and interesting as an adult who is writing a dissertation on mindfulness. Easily a five star rating! 🙂
– Thomakea, via Amazon.com