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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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One Was Johnny: A Counting Book Paperback – March 15, 1991

4.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
Book 3 of 4 in the Nutshell Library Series

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Frequently Bought Together

  • One Was Johnny: A Counting Book
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

In addition to Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak's books include Kenny's Window, Very Far Away, The Sign on Rosie's Door, Nutshell Library (consisting of Chicken Soup with Rice, Alligators All Around, One Was Johnny, and Pierre), Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy, and Bumble-Ardy.

He received the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are; the 1970 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration; the 1983 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, given by the American Library Association in recognition of his entire body of work; and a 1996 National Medal of Arts in recognition of his contribution to the arts in America. In 2003, he received the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an international prize for children's literature established by the Swedish government.



In addition to Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak's books include Kenny's Window, Very Far Away, The Sign on Rosie's Door, Nutshell Library (consisting of Chicken Soup with Rice, Alligators All Around, One Was Johnny, and Pierre), Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy, and Bumble-Ardy.

He received the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are; the 1970 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration; the 1983 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, given by the American Library Association in recognition of his entire body of work; and a 1996 National Medal of Arts in recognition of his contribution to the arts in America. In 2003, he received the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an international prize for children's literature established by the Swedish government.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Lexile Measure: NP (What's this?)
  • Series: The Nutshell Library
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (March 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064432513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064432511
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.1 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #548,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Pauline J. Alama on February 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
Unlike so many dull counting books (and their companion dull alphabet books), this book has a quirky attitude all its own. "One" shows Johnny happy alone, reading a book; as we count upward, a number of raucous animals and even a robber invade his home. We start to count down when Johnny threatens his uninvited guests, "I'm going to count backwards and when I am through/If this house isn't empty, I'll eat all of you!" My 16-month-old son loves it & so do I. I wish they made this in board book form.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book with one to ten -- unlike many, its forwards and backwards. The illustrations are classic Sendak -- a kooky little kid, and crazy animal friends. Nine arrive, and to get back to his solitude, Johnny counts backwards to make them leave. There are a lot of cute counting books out there, but this one has a twist no one else has picked up. The story line is nonsensical enough to hold interest for a long time.
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Format: Paperback
I love this book. It is small and it is quintessential Sendak. My grandson loves the Carol King record "Really Rosie" and I was thrilled to be able to buy three of the books that coordinate with the C.D. that includes "One Was Johnny". The illustrations are darling, and we love to sing the whole book. I recently ordered two additional sets of this book along with "Pierre" and "Alligators All Around". They're all delightful.
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A year ago I got this book when I wanted to formally introduce numbers to my then 18 mo. old daughter. We had already seen a video about the story on you tube where it was sang. She loved the song, so when we got the book she immediately wanted me to read it to her. Although she likes the book very much, and it is very amusing to hear all the things that happen to poor Johnny, the book itself isn't that "toddler friendly".
The book is very small and the spine does not allow for the book to remain open, so you always have to keep both hands holding each side of the book. Now my daughter is two and is capable of doing that but she can't focus on the illustrations as much as if she didn't have to hold the book open so it won't close. Eventhough the book spine dissapears when standing next to the other small books on her bookshelf, she manages to find it for me to read.
Along with this book for numbers I got her: Over in the Meadow, By Ezra; 1 is One; Hippos go Berserk; Ten Apples Up on Top; Brainy Baby 123; Five Silly Monkeys; My Very First Book of Numbers, Carle; Ten Beads Tall; and The Wonder of Learning Numbers.
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ANYTHING by Maurice Sendak is more than worth the price, but I've loved the Really Rosie series of story-songs since I was a kid myself, and delight in sharing them with my kids now! They love 'em, too!
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I grew up with the video "Really Rosie" by Carol King based on these books and It is wonderful! I am really enjoying reading/singing these books to my 3 year old daughter at night and she loves them too. (I got the 4 pack) and they have taught her the alphabet, (expanding her vocabulary quite a bit), the months of the year in "Chicken Soup with Rice" and to count to 10 and back again in "One was Johnny". Maurice Sendak is probably my favorite children's writer and if you know "Where the Wild Things Are" or "Little Bear" in both print and TV, these books are a must have for any parent and child. A real Treasure!
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By Orion-Mama on November 23, 2013
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I found this book in Japanese at a store, and brought it home, but, unfortunately, the translated version does not show the lovely rhythm of the original. So, I wanted to get the English version of the book. I should have bought a hard cover book !!
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I'm a fan of most all things Maurice Sendak. These little books provide the lyrics for Carol King's Really Rosie soundtrack which I grew up with.

I guess my only complaint is that these books are so little. They're about 4 x 5" and I wish they were more like 6 x 8". The one good thing about them being so little is that they make perfect travel books. They're a perfectly viable bedtime story but they're tiny enough to take on an airplane or a road trip.

Most importantly, the kids love all the books in this series of 4. This one is great for counting and has a fun rhythm.
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