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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Jojo is a very happy, healthy, and intelligent little boy. He loves to play with his toys; he loves his trucks, and he's very friendly with others on the playground or at school. But Jojo is a little different from other children (but we're all different when you really think of it). Perhaps it's better to describe Jojo as unique, just like the rest of us are unique, one-of-a-kind individuals. Jojo was born with microtia – that means one of his ears didn't grow, and he can't hear very well in that one small ear. Because of his hearing difficulties, Jojo wears a hearing device held in place by a headband. And that's what attracts attention: the headband. A few of the bigger boys bully and harass Jojo because he's wearing a headband. Jojo doesn't understand, but he realizes he must share his condition with others so they will understand – hopefully.
Stefania Munzi-Logus's son was born with microtia. In her desire to educate the world, especially young people, about this condition, the author wrote an inspiring and sweet story, Jojo's Tiny Ear. Told in rhyming verse and accompanied by bright, colorful illustrations, this heartwarming story follows Jojo's playful routine as he introduces all the things he loves to do. The confrontation with the bullies is troubling to Jojo and will be to the reader as well because Jojo is such a friendly, happy-go-lucky little boy that everyone would want to befriend. Jojo realizes he's unique; he's a little different from the other children. But that's okay. He's proud of who he is: he has a special hearing device, and he can communicate using sign language – that's more than other children can admit to. His message: accept who you are and be proud of it and accept others for who they are, too. You never know. You might learn something from someone else's uniqueness. Beautifully told.