Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business
What parents need to know
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?