"Johnny Big Ears, The Feel-Good Friend"

Johnny Big Ears, The Feel Good Friend

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Johnny Big Ears, The Feel-Good Friend

Author: John Paul Padilla

Illustrator: Mike Andrulonis

Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Company Inc., 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8059-7496-6

Related websites: www.JohnPaulPadilla.com (author) www.dorrancebookstore.com (publisher)

Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable) 

Reading level: Ages 6-8

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)

     Padilla, John.  Johnny Big Ears, The Feel-Good Friend (published in 2008 by the Dorrance Publishing Company Inc.).  Johnny was born into a loving family.  As he began to grow, one thing that stood out was his big ears.  When he is five, his mother decides to cut his hair so that it would be nice for his first day of Kindergarten.  Some of the kids at school make fun of his big ears, and he almost cries at first, but he has been brought up in such a loving family situation that he is comfortable with himself and determines not to let what the other children are saying bother him.   Eventually, he makes friends with Charlie, who is also "different" because his face is covered with freckles, and looks forward to going back to school the next day.

     This story, told in the first person and based upon the author’s own childhood experiences with being teased, is a wonderful reminder of the challenges faced by young people as a result of teasing and bullying and how to deal with those challenges.  It is an unfortunate fact that some children are just plain mean, and others come across as being mean without necessarily intending to be.  Parents need to prepare their children for this, and one way to do so is to love them unconditionally and let them know that they are special so that they will be content with what they are.  How Johnny reacts can teach an important lesson, and I highly recommend the book.  (Note: A new edition was published in 2009.)

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