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One Was Johnny: A Counting Book Paperback – March 15, 1991


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One Was Johnny: A Counting Book + Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months + Alligators All Around (The Nutshell Library)
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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.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • 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 (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For more than forty years, the books Maurice Sendak has written and illustrated have nurtured children and adults alike and have challenged established ideas about what children's literature is and should be. The New York Times has recognized that Sendak's work "has brought a new dimension to the American children's book and has helped to change how people visualize childhood." Parenting recently described Sendak as "indisputably, the most revolutionary force in children's books."
Winner of the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are, in 1970 Sendak became the first American illustrator to receive the international Hans Christian Andersen Award, given in recognition of his entire body of work. In 1983, he received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the American Library Association, also given for his entire body of work.
Beginning in 1952, with A Hole Is to Dig by Ruth Krauss, Sendak's illustrations have enhanced many texts by other writers, including the Little Bear books by Else Holmelund Minarik, children's books by Isaac Bashevis Singer and Randall Jarrell, and The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm. Dear Mili, Sendak's interpretation of a newly discovered tale by Wilhelm Grimm, was published to extraordinary acclaim in 1988.
In addition to Where the Wild Things Are (1963), Sendak has both written and illustrated
The Nutshell Library (1962), Higglety Pigglety Pop! (1967), In the Night Kitchen (1970), Outside Over There (1981), and, We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy (1993). He also illustrated Swine Lake (1999), authored by James Marshall, Brundibar (2003), by Tony Kushner, Bears (2005), by Ruth Krauss and, Mommy? (2006), his first pop-up book, with paper engineering by Matthew Reinhart and story by Arthur Yorinks.
Since 1980, Sendak has designed the sets and costumes for highly regarded productions of Mozart's The Magic Flute and Idomeneo, Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen, Prokofiev's
The Love for Three Oranges, Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, and Hans Krása's Brundibár.
In 1997, Sendak received the National Medal of Arts from President Clinton. In 2003 he received the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an international prize for children's literature established by the Swedish government. Maurice Sendak was born in Brooklyn in 1928. He now lives in Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful 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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 10, 2000
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By WORLD OF BOOKS on June 19, 2001
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mamma Ro on September 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tracy on November 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
I grew up reading these Sendak books, and watching the Really Rosie movie that incorporates them, and love them. My son loves them too. I do however, miss the hard cover version. The paperbacks seem kind of flimsy and it takes two hands to keep the pages open.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Accardo on February 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
My daughter who is 2 absolutely loves this book - she brings it to us to read over and over - she knows most of the words already!
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Format: Paperback
"One Was Johnny" is a simple counting book for young kids. It uses that favorite element that all kids enjoy -- animals -- in a fun story of events in a count up to 10, then down from 10. The animals keep coming into Johnny's house, doing some mundane, some nonsensical things; what should Johnny do? (There is a token human, a robber who does merely trivial harm.) Johnny's method to get rid of the intruders bears an interesting twist with respect to the song-rhyme "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly." All the counting pages have amusing illustrations. Johnny achieves his solitude, but the kids may wonder why he did not want to be with all the great animals. They will still love the book.
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One Was Johnny: A Counting Book
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