Children’s Book Shows It’s OK to be Different – Little Lonnie Long Ears by Mary Jean Kelso

Children’s Book Shows It’s OK to be Different – Little Lonnie Long Ears by Mary Jean Kelso

Have a child, grandchild or student who is not coping well because he feels different from his friends and classmates? Are you working with children and would like a resource to help them understand the hurt they cause when they tease or shun another because of a physical difference, a personality difference, or a disability. Sometimes children are not accepted and ignored because of their clothes, their accent, and other things way out of their control like having a sibling who is different. We suggest teachers, librarians, day care staff, and parents read and discuss with children Little Lonnie Long Ears by Mary Jean Kelso and Kc Snider as illustrator.

Little Lonnie Long Ears is a fully illustrated children’s book for 3 to 9 year olds. Illustrator Kc Snider brings to life Mary Jean Kelso’s characters and the author’s words help children who feel rejected and alone learn that it’s OK to be different. The bullies reading this story will realize the hurt they inflict when they tease or do not include children with differences.

Guest Post by Mary Jean Kelso

Little Lonnie Long Ears 

Children’s Book Shows It’s OK to be Different

Little Lonnie Long Ears is a story about a bunny with a problem. His ears are longer than all the other bunnies. He cannot hop and play and keep up with the other bunnies. He is upset because he is “different.”

All, but one of the bunnies on the farm tease and avoid him because his ears are longer than theirs.

Because Lonnie does not look like the others, it makes him question who or what he is.

He worries that his long ears means he may not be a rabbit after all. Lonnie searches the farmer’s barnyard to see if there is anywhere he fits in.

“He hopped to the corral where the horse lived with a donkey. Maybe he was a donkey. The donkey had long ears. But, no matter how tall he tried to make himself, he could not be as big as the donkey.”

After checking out the rest of the farm animals and giving up, Lonnie’s one friend, Chrisinda, offers an idea to solve his problem.  With her help, Lonnie is able to find a way to not only be able to run and play with the other bunnies, but to gain their friendship as well. He learns it is OK to be different and turns a disadvantage into an advantage.

When I agreed to do this post for Special Needs Book Review certain criteria were listed. One was to describe the “purpose” or reason the author wrote the story.

That made me think, more deeply, why I wrote the book. In the beginning, I thought I wrote it because kids kept asking me to write good books for them that their parents could afford to buy. My daughter, Wendy Whiteman, suggested I make some “mini” books that could be sold for $1 at craft shows where she sold her Body Talk jewel. With the kids wanting books the price was more appealing to the parents price range.

When the question came up for this post to Special Needs Book Review, I realized where the story came from.

I was always the child that was left out. I came from older parents, I had red hair in a time when so few people did, so I was “weird”. I felt out of place and like I didn’t belong — even in my own family of six older siblings with dark hair.

As I matured, I realized many people have something that makes them “different” at some time in their lives.

So often children feel they are “different” than their peers. Whether it is a perception or a reality that one doesn’t fit in, it can be a painful experience . Often it is the difference that makes a person who they are. While we may not all fit the mold, that very difference might be what drives someone to improve their own life, someone else’s life — or the world.

“Vive la différence!”

Parts of Two pages from Little Lonnie Long Ears



Mary Jean Kelso Mary Jean Kelso is a published author of many children’s, tween, young adult and adult books.  A number of her children’s picture books, including the Andy and the Albino Horse series, have special needs characters that help and encourage children with disabilities.

Several of Mary Jean’s books are available in Braille to the blind for free from the Xavier Society for the Blind and The Anna B. Repicky Foundation.

Mary Jean contributes to newspapers and magazines and has received awards from The Nevada Press Assn and The National Press Assn.

She is a member of the Alamo Defenders Descendants Association, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, The Alamo Society, and Made in Nevada in the state where she lives and writes.

Follow Mary Jean Kelso:


KC Snider mug KC Snider is an honors graduate from the School of Arts in Eugene, Oregon, where she majored in illustration and taught in Oregon colleges for 17 years. Her Western Fine Art has won prestigious Western Art Awards, including the Snaffle Bit and Pioneer Awards.

In 2007, KC illustrated her first two children’s books: The Christmas Angel (by Mary Jean Kelso) and The Magic Violin (by Mayra Calvani). Since then she has illustrated nearly 50 books for Guardian Angel Publishing.

KC soloed on her first wordless picture book, Silence, inspired by Crater Lake National Park and the precocious activities of a golden mantled ground squirrel, where her stunning illustrations of the lake and its surroundings will stand the test of time until the next volcanic episode.

Her children’s books’ illustrations have won numerous literary awards.

KC lives in Redmond, Oregon with her husband. She is inspired by her grandchildren and the natural beauty of the Oregon Cascade Mountains and high desert.

Visit KC at


Buy Mary Jean Kelso’s Books:

Little Lonnie Long Ears Guardian Angel Publishing

Many of Mary Jean Kelso’s books on Guardian Angel Publishing

This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.