More Caps for Sale: Another Tale of Mischievous Monkeys

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
More Caps for Sale: Another Tale of Mischievous Monkeys Book Poster Image
Mimicking monkeys pursue peddler in sequel true to classic.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

A modest lesson on teaching by example, and a cheeky demonstration of successful marketing.

Positive Messages

The monkey-see, monkey-do antics lead to good resolutions: The monkeys and the peddler influence each other to eat a good meal, clean up the trash, get some rest, and sell caps.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The peddler is worried and frustrated, but when the monkeys refuse to leave him alone he doesn't continue to pester them. The monkeys seem more curious and amused than bothersome.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that More Caps for Sale is a sequel to the classic Caps for Sale, published in 1940 by Esphyr Slobodkina. Her personal assistant developed the book based on story ideas she discussed with Slobodkina before the artist's death in 2002, with illustrations assembled from Slobodkina's paintings and previously published illustrations. The story picks up later the same day the original took place, showing what happened after the tired, frustrated peddler went home without selling a single cap.

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What's the story?

After spending so much time trying to get his caps back from a troupe of mischievous monkeys, the peddler wasn't able to sell a single cap. He's so worried, he can't eat or rest. But he notices the monkeys outside his window, having their supper -- and then he's hungry, too. When he sees them snoozing in the tree outside his home, he's finally able to drift off to sleep. The monkeys follow him to town the next day, and the townspeople are so entertained they buy all the peddler's caps.

Is it any good?

Like the monkeys in Caps for Sale, this carefully developed sequel mimics the tone and style of Esphyr Slobodkina's original artwork, preserving the spirit of the classic published 75 years earlier. MORE CAPS FOR SALE was developed by Ann Marie Mulhearn Sayer, Slobodkina's friend and assistant in her final years. Sayer echoes the charming, rhythmic text and distinctive look of the beloved original. She drew on Slobodkina's illustrations and paintings, digitally manipulating images to fill out the new book.

For the most part, the assembled illustrations work wonderfully. A few pages look like an awkward pastiche, particularly two consecutive spreads that repeat the same images of townspeople resized, flipped, and rearranged. Parents who love Slobodkina's classic will want to know: Does it enrich the original work? No, but it doesn't tarnish it, either. And children discovering Caps for Sale for the first time will be delighted to enjoy more of the monkeys and the beleaguered peddler.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the monkeys. Do you think they're trying to annoy the peddler or they're just having fun?

  • The monkeys and the peddler influence each other to rest, to eat, and to clean up. What have you learned by watching your family, your teacher, or your friends?

  • Imagine what might happen the next day. Will the monkeys still be there?

Book details

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