Peter's Rockin' Ear

A Story of Self-Acceptance

Children - Picture Book
32 Pages
Reviewed on 11/22/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Dede Dankelson based her first picture book on the true story of her oldest son, Peter, wanting to have two big ears like his friends. Peter was born with microtia/atresia, one of many birth defects associated with his diagnosis of Goldenhar Syndrome.

Dede is also the author of How I Learned to Rock My Life: The Peter Dankelson Story. This book chronicles Peter's first 20-years of medical challenges and discovering the guitar as well as how Pete's Diary evolved into the social media sensation it is today.

Peter's Rockin' Ear is the recipient of the distinguished Mom's Choice Gold Honoree award and is also a 5-Star Reader's Favorite. Autographed copies of Pete's Diary books can be purchased at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite

Peter was an excellent guitarist and a budding rockstar to boot. However, he was unhappy that one of his ears was too small. Peter was tired of people pointing at him and teasing him relentlessly. He tried every means possible to hide his unusual ear or create a false one, but nothing seemed to work. Encouraged by his family, he finally tried getting a new prosthetic ear. Does it solve his problems? What happens on the day of Shredapalooza, when he performs in front of a large audience? Peter’s Rockin’ Ear, written by Dede Dankelson and illustrated by Pratyush Chatterjee, tells us Peter’s story.

It was a humbling experience to discover that Dede based the story on Peter Dankelson, her eldest son, who was diagnosed with Goldenhar syndrome. Dankelson is a talented musician and the lifeline behind this inspirational book. Dede astutely highlighted Peter’s struggles as he tried to fit in with his peers. I empathized with him when he tried to keep his ear a secret just to stop the teasing. I rooted for him when the prosthetics gave him new hope. I loved how he learned to accept his ear, not as a deformity but as an inseparable part of him. He realized that it was not something to be ashamed of but something that made him unique. The support his family and friends showed was truly admirable.

I would be remiss if I did not mention Chatterjee’s superb illustrations. I loved that Peter’s face bore a striking resemblance to the real Peter. In Chatterjee’s illustrations, the facial expressions and body language were so lifelike that I could read every emotion the characters felt. Peter’s Rockin’ Ear is an empowering book that will teach the young audience the value of self-acceptance.

Ralph Sanders

As a father of a son born with hemifacialmicrosomia I am so proud of you Peter and Dede. God bless you. I was brought to tears reading this book. I started the autobiography yesterday and it just brought back so many memories of going through a lot of the same things in your book.