One Was Johnny: A Counting Book

Maurice Sendak is most commonly remembered as the author/illustrator of the 1964 Caldecott winner Where the Wild Things Are. For years I kept a beautiful first edition copy of this classic on my bookshelf. When my daughter was born it became part of her library collection and remained in pristine condition under her care. It wasn’t until it was passed onto to my son (my wild thing) that this book was destroyed. On his first day of ownership he ripped off the cover and pretty much tore it to shreds! Lessons are learned every day in my household. A few years before Sendak’s Caldecott winner was published he wrote a book that still holds a special place in my heart. I’d forgotten about this little gem until it practically jumped off the shelves into my hands. The book One Was Johnny: A Counting Book was written in 1960 and features a little boy who wants to be alone to count in peace. With each number comes a new animal or person that brings chaos into his private little sanctuary. Not to worry though! Johnny is a clever little boy and uses his skill of counting backwards to rid his home of the crazy lot of animals and even a shoe stealing robber! The book is fun, easy to read and great for new readers. The illustrations alone tell the story and the rhyming verse makes it easier for young ones to practice their reading skills effortlessly and joyfully. Check out this sweet little book for your own little wild thing, or even for yourself.