Kent, Jack. Just Only John. Young Readers Press Inc. 1968
Keywords: identity, peer pressure, pretend, animal, John
Just Only John is a wonderful little story about a four-year-old boy, John, who is tired of being "just" John. Even pretending to be something else is not good enough for this little boy. John soon finds himself in a mysterious shop buying a peppermint-flavored magic spell for a penny. He wasn't sure what he would turn into, but he waited with anticipation. John began to turn into whatever anyone suggested he was. His mother called him, "my little lamb," and he turned into one. He later turns into a bunny, a pig, and even a little man. Finally, John is so frustrated changing that he asks his father what to do. His daddy says, "The magic spell won't bother you if you'll just remind yourself that you are you." John kept repeating, "I'm just only John." The book ends, "And he was. And probably still is. Moral--be yourself because somebody has to and you're the closest."
Summary by James.