Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that kids are delighted by both the teasing monkeys and the tantrum-throwing peddler in Caps for Sale. First published in 1940, the book feels both charmingly old-fashioned and refreshingly modern, thanks to the beautifully hued artwork by Esphy Slobodkina. On the occasion of the book's 75th anniversary in 2015, Slobodkina's friend and assistant published a sequel, More Caps for Sale: Another Tale of Mischievous Monkeys, that preserves the spirit of the original.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
Monkey see, monkey do ... and the peddler, too! He indulges in an afternoon nap and wakes to find a bunch of monkeys have swiped all the caps he planned to sell. He can't get the thieving, mimicking monkeys to give his caps back. He throws his own hat on the ground in frustration. Presto! The pestering monkeys throw all the hats to the ground, too, and the peddler gets back to work.
Is it any good?
This retelling of an old folktale gently motors the story forward against a beautiful backdrop of an eastern eastern European village, caught on a drowsy day with only the peddler about. CAPS FOR SALE uses fun repetition and predictable rhythms that delight kids, from the mocking monkeys to the very particular order of the peddler's checked, gray, brown, blue, and red caps. Author Esphyr Slobodkina, an accomplished abstract artist, illustrates the story with line drawings and the colors of earth and sky, plus a rich barn-red.
The smiling monkeys are a joy, and children love to see the irritated peddler stomping his feet and throwing his hat to the ground -- it looks more than a little like a child's tantrum. Be ready to read this one again and again; young listeners will happily chime in for the monkeys' teasing "tsz, tsz, tsz."
Talk to your kids about ...
- Author: Esphyr Slobodkina
- Illustrator: Esphyr Slobodkina
- Genre: Folklore
- Topics: Wild Animals
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperTrophy
- Publication date: December 31, 1969
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 7
- Number of pages: 48
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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