Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business



The absurd behavior keeps kids coming back.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids will love the preposterousness of the story. The artwork is accessible and the unusual setting adds to the interest level.

What's the story?

Monkey see, monkey do ... and the peddler too! 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 absurd behavior (monkeys' and peddler's) keeps readers wanting to return to this children's book classic.


Is it any good?


Esphyr Slobodkina's retelling of the old folktale gently motors the story forward while introducing fun repetitions. "First he had on his own checked cap, then a bunch of gray caps, then a bunch of brown caps, then a bunch of blue caps, and on the very top a bunch of red caps." Slobodkina's line drawings have the colors of earth and sky, plus a lively barn red. The scene is an Eastern European village, caught on a drowsy day with only the peddler about. The illustrations are so convincingly drawn that readers will feel they know the place.

The tale's rhythms, its sense of beginning and ending and beginning again, provide a wit that enchants readers. Children ages 4 to 8 read this story and offered their own version of the monkeys' "Tsz, tsz, tsz."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the monkeys' silly behavior. Do kids ever act like monkeys?

Book details

Author:Esphyr Slobodkina
Illustrator:Esphyr Slobodkina
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:December 31, 1969
Number of pages:48
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

This review of Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business was written by

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of an infant year old Written byteacherpeach_68 March 30, 2009
Kid, 11 years old December 29, 2010
Kid, 11 years old October 7, 2012

Based On ME

It's a really good book for kids. When I was 4, I read this and it was an amazing story. And it's still good. It's a great book to show kids how to be kids. Ya'know kids shouldn't ALWAYS spend 24/7 doing academic work [unless they want to (that will be weird)]. =) -Just suggesting.
What other families should know
Great role models


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