Crockett Johnson Homepage > FAQ

Crockett Johnson Homepage: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. "Dear Crockett Johnson,..."
  2. Would you be willing to sign or donate some books for our library or charity auction [or fill-in-the-blank]?
  3. Which of Crockett Johnson's books are in print?
  4. Where can I buy a copy of Barnaby, Barkis, Ellen's Lion, or another out-of-print book?
  5. Do you know where I could get a copy of the recording of "The Carrot Seed" song? Has it been released on CD?
  6. Where can I find a copy of the Harold videotape?
  7. Where can I buy the Harold and the Purple Crayon Game?
  8. Did you hear that Sharon Stone is narrating a Harold series? Or: What can you tell me about the Harold TV series?
  9. Who's writing the new Harold books? Or: Have you heard about the new Harold books?
  10. Where can I find Harold's theme song? Or: Is Simon the same as Harold?
  11. I'm looking for a gift. Or: I'm new to Crockett Johnson's work. Do you have any recommendations?
  12. Where can I buy Crockett Johnson's original artwork?
  13. Where can I buy stuffed Harold dolls or t-shirts, etc. featuring Johnson's characters?
  14. I'm interested in obtaining copyright permission to reproduce Johnson's work. Or: I'd like to obtain a licensing agreement to use Johnson's characters in merchandise. Whom should I contact?
  15. Do you know where I could obtain jpeg or gif images of Harold, Mr. O'Malley, Barnaby, or [name your favorite character]?
  16. How do you pronounce "Cushlamochree"? What does it mean?
  17. Do you know about [item related to Crockett Johnson or Ruth Krauss]?
  18. How do I cite this page?
  19. I understand you're writing a biography of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss. When will it be finished?
  20. I've read your FAQ, and I still have a question.


Q:

"Dear Crockett Johnson,..."

A:

I am not Crockett Johnson. He died in 1975. The Crockett Johnson Homepage has no official affiliation with his estate or with HarperCollins. For legal information, read the Disclaimer; for the addresses of Johnson's publishers, see below. To learn about his life, read the Biography.

Q:

Would you be willing to sign or donate some books for our library or charity auction or [fill-in-the-blank]?

A:

Sorry, but no. Crockett Johnson died in 1975, and I don't own any autographed copies of his books (I wish I did!). I acquire copies of his books in the same way that you do: I buy them. I don't know if HarperCollins would give you free copies of his books, but you can always ask. For the addresses of Johnson's publishers, see below; for legal information, please read the Disclaimer. To learn about his life, read the Biography.

Q:

Which of Crockett Johnson's books are in print?

A:

All of the Harold books, Ellen's Lion, Who's Upside Down?, Magic Beach (2005), and Ruth Krauss' The Carrot Seed are in print. In the U.S., the Harold books and The Carrot Seed are published by HarperCollins. Who's Upside Down? was republished by Linnet Books/Shoe String Press in 1990. Ellen's Lion was republished by Alfred A. Knopf in 2003. You can buy or order these from your local booksellers, or through bookstores listed in my "Bookstores" links.

Q:

Where can I buy a copy of Barnaby, Barkis, Ellen's Lion, or another out-of-print book?

A:

You might try the Advanced Book Exchange, which is where I usually go. Or take a look at the bookstores listed in the "Used, Out-of-Print, and Rare" section of my "Bookstores" links. Each one's inventory comes from many bookstores in North America and/or in Europe; so, each functions less like a single bookstore and more like a network of bookstores (thereby increasing your chances of finding what you seek). If you don't find it at these bookstores, keep looking! There are other bookstores out there (I haven't linked to them all). Finally, in January 2000, Bill Slankard let me know that Comics Revue #165 began reprinting the Barnaby daily strip from 1960. Comics Revue's reprints of the 1960-62 run of "Barnaby" ended in early 2002. I don't know if back issues are available, but it's worth asking. Contact: Manuscript Press, P O Box 336, Mountain Home, TN, 37684. The publisher, Rick Norwood, can be reached at (423) 926-7495, or by e-mail at f.norwood@worldnet.att.net. Subscriptions are $45 for 12 issues in the US.

Q:

Do you know where I could get a copy of the recording of "The Carrot Seed" song? Has it been released on CD?

A:

Yes. In July 2005, Kiddie Records Weekly posted an mp3 and cover art for The Carrot Seed. You can also buy the track from Peter Muldavin's Kiddie Rekord King. If you're looking for the record itself, the Kiddie Rekord King's page of links, which suggests on-line record shops like Mystery Train, Platterpus Records, and many others! A site like Dusty Groove, which sells used and new records, is a longer shot (though they do sell some interesting things there). The original version of the song has not been released on CD, but Ivan Ulz recorded a new version on his independently released CD Songs from the Old School (1999). For more information, contact him at this address:

Ivan Ulz
P.O. Box 7071
Halcyon, CA 93421

What you're reading now and the Crockett Johnson Homepage's page about the song represent all that I know. If you have anything to add or if you have suggestions as to where people might look, please let me know.

On 6 April 2002, Jay Mauser reported that ERC (Educational Record Company) was selling a cassette of the Carrot Seed story (but not the song version).

Q:

Where can I find a copy of the Harold videotape?

A:

Harold and the Purple Crayon and Other Harold Stories was released by Wood Knapp Video in 1993, but it appears to be out-of-print at the moment. The copy on the film page comes from my local public library, so you could try looking in your local public library. The DVD of the animated Harold films is in print, however.

Q:

Where can I buy the Harold and the Purple Crayon Game?

A:

The Harold and the Purple Crayon Game is, I understand, no longer being made. You might try contacting Briarpatch, who produced the gam. Or perhaps seek a used copy of the game.

Q:

Did you hear that Sharon Stone is narrating a Harold series? Or: what can you tell me about the Harold TV series?

A:

Yes, the series ran from 2001 to 2002. Some information can be found with the April 2001 News. The HBO Family Channel's website described the series as follows: "Based on the classic book by Crockett Johnson, Harold and the Purple Crayon centers on the adventures of a curious four year old boy who uses his purple crayon to explore his imagination. The episode features narration by Sharon Stone and songs by award-winning lyricist Van Dyke Parks." The show finished its run in 2002, but you can buy DVDs of the episodes.

Q: Who's writing the new Harold books? Or: Have you heard about the new Harold books?
A: The "new Harold books" are spin-offs of the television series described above. They have various authors, including: Liza Baker, and Valerie Garfield. They also have various illustrators: Andy Chiang, Don Gillies, Jose Lopez, and Kevin Murawski. As of this writing, the "new Harold books" include: Harold and the Purple Crayon: The Birthday Present (2002), Harold and the Purple Crayon: The Giant Garden (2002), Harold and the Purple Crayon: Animals, Animals, Animals (2002), Harold and the Purple Crayon: Harold Finds a Friend (2002), Harold and the Purple Crayon: Dinosaur Days (2002), Harold and the Purple Crayon: Under the Sea (2003).

Q:

Where can I find Harold's theme song? Or: Is Simon the same as Harold?

A:

The only music associated with Harold is included with the animated Harold films (1959, 1971, 1974), the musical (Theatreworks USA, 1990), and HBO's Harold series (2001-2002). Unless HBO's series has a theme song (I've never seen it), Harold has no theme song. People sometimes confuse Harold with a cartoon short about Simon which aired on Captain Kangaroo in the 1970s. Simon is not Harold, but Simon does have a theme: "Well you know my name is Simon, and the things I draw come true..."

Q:

I'm looking for a gift. Or: I'm new to Crockett Johnson's work. Do you have any recommendations?

A:

Yes. I've compiled a page of my favorites, in the hopes that such a list might help to guide you. Such a question is necessarily subjective, but this page should give you a place to start.

Q:

Where can I buy Crockett Johnson's original artwork?

A:

I have heard from people who own an original drawing or drawings by Crockett Johnson. One person emailed (a jpeg file of) a drawing to me and you can see it here. If you find some of Johnson's artwork or know of comic art dealers, send me a note.

Regarding Johnson's paintings, I noticed two for sale at The Modhaus ("an online gallery of unique furnishings and decorative artifacts from the 1950s-1970s") in December of 1999. These have long since been sold, and I do not know of any others for sale. On that topic, I have never seen prints of these paintings for sale.

Q:

Where can I buy stuffed Harold dolls or t-shirts, etc. featuring Johnson's characters?

A:

As far as I know, you can't buy dolls or t-shirts. If anyone has evidence to the contrary or if this fact changes, please let me know. As a footnote, Maurice Horn's World Encyclopedia of Comics (1976) says of the "Barnaby" comic that "Minor merchandising ventures included Mr. O'Malley dolls" (98). If any of these dolls exist today, they'd be collectors' items (and, if you have one, why not send me a photo for the page?). As of August of 2001, Peaceable Kingdom Press began selling greeting cards with an image of Harold carrying a gift. And, starting in March or April of 2001, Briarpatch began selling a Harold board game: see the board game FAQ on this page.

Q:

I'm interested in obtaining copyright permission to reproduce Johnson's work. Or: I'd like to obtain a licensing agreement to use Johnson's characters in merchandise. Whom should I contact?

A:

As I mention on my "Disclaimer" page, if you have copyright questions concerning the work of Crockett Johnson, I am not the person to ask. You see, my page has no official affiliation with Crockett Johnson's estate or with HarperCollins, the Shoe String Press, or Wood Knapp Video. In addition, my site is non-commercial. I can, however, tell you what I know: The Carrot Seed and the Harold books are published by HarperCollins, probably through their Juvenile Books division. You might try contacting them, care of the Children's Permissions Manager at HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299. Who's Upside Down? was republished in 1990 by Linnet Books, an imprint of the Shoe String Press, Hamden, CT 06514. Ellen's Lion was republished in 2003 by Alfred A. Knopf. As far as I know, all other books are out of print.

Q:

Do you know where I could obtain jpeg or gif images of Harold, Mr. O'Malley, Barnaby, or [name your favorite character]?

A:

No. Since I do not own the copyrights for Johnson's characters, I'm afraid I can't help. I also ask that you not take images from these pages; but, because I can't stop you, let me add the following warning. If you choose to "borrow" an item from this page, you do so at your own risk. And if you do, this item must not be put to any commercial use. If it were, such use would jeopardize the very existence of the site. Please read the Disclaimer.

Q:

How do you pronounce "Cushlamochree"? What does it mean?

A:

Please read a few notes on the word "Cushlamochree."

Q:

Do you know about [item related to Crockett Johnson or Ruth Krauss]?

A:

I maintain a "Search List" on the "Thanks" page. In general, if what you've found is not listed in the bibliography, then I don't know about it; if it is listed but there's no link, then I've probably never seen it. If you've found something unknown to me, please send me an email. If you're looking for something that's not on these pages, let me know and I'll place it on the "Search List." Thanks!

Q:

How do I cite this page?

A:

According to guidelines in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (1999), a bilbiographic citation would look like this: author, title, date you accessed the page, and the URL. So, if you accessed the Crockett Johnson Homepage on 3 July 2000, your citation would look like this:

Nel, Philip. The Crockett Johnson Homepage. 3 July 2000 <http://www.ksu.edu/english/nelp/purple/>.

If you want to credit a particular section of the Crockett Johnson Homepage, you would do so like this:

Nel, Philip. "Harold, Barnaby, and Dave: A Biography of Crockett Johnson." The Crockett Johnson Homepage. 3 July 2000 <http://www.ksu.edu/english/nelp/purple/biography.html>.
Q: I understand you're writing a biography of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss. When will it be finished?
A: I've been posting intermittent reports on my progress on the "News" page -- and that will give you the most up-to-date information. I turned in the fourth draft to my editor in early June 2010, it underwent another four revisions, and will be published in the fall of 2012. In case you're wondering why it's taken so long (over a dozen years!), here's a short explanation. There are two main reasons, the first of which is that a biography is an enormous amount of work: I've interviewed over eighty people, investigated over three dozen archives and special collections, read everything by or about Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss, and consulted additional hundreds of books and articles. The second reason is that I've also been working on other books, and that I have a full-time job as an English professor. Until the biography is finished, your best source is my biographical essay on Crockett Johnson (from issue no. 5 of the now sadly defunct Comic Art). In addition to being the most thorough biography of Johnson ever published, the essay is fully illustrated (thanks to generous individuals and special collections). That issue is now sold out, but it pops up on eBay from time to time, and I've put a pdf on this website.

Q:

I've read your FAQ, and I still have a question.

A:

Send me email! My address is philnel@ksu.edu. If you do write, here are some things to keep in mind. (1) Your email should have a subject line that clearly identifies it as relating to this website. If it does not, I may mistake it for spam, and hit delete without reading it. (2) If the answer to the question is already on the website, then do not expect to receive a response.


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Harold

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Email Phil Nel

at philnel@ksu.edu

Mr. O'Malley


All of Johnson's text and artwork is © by the Estate of Ruth Krauss.
The rest of these pages are © 1998-2012 by Philip Nel. Read the Disclaimer. 
About the Crockett Johnson Homepage.
Last updated Friday, February 10, 2012 .