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

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Caps for Sale is a timeless classic beloved by millions...one of the most popular picture books ever published! Children will delight in following the peddler’s efforts to outwit the monkeys and will ask to read it again and again. Caps for Sale is an excellent easy-to-read book that includes repetition, patterns, and colors, perfect for early readers. This tale of a peddler Caps for Sale is a timeless classic beloved by millions...one of the most popular picture books ever published! Children will delight in following the peddler’s efforts to outwit the monkeys and will ask to read it again and again. Caps for Sale is an excellent easy-to-read book that includes repetition, patterns, and colors, perfect for early readers. This tale of a peddler and a band of mischievous monkeys is filled with warmth, humor, and simplicity and also teaches children about problem and resolution.


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Caps for Sale is a timeless classic beloved by millions...one of the most popular picture books ever published! Children will delight in following the peddler’s efforts to outwit the monkeys and will ask to read it again and again. Caps for Sale is an excellent easy-to-read book that includes repetition, patterns, and colors, perfect for early readers. This tale of a peddler Caps for Sale is a timeless classic beloved by millions...one of the most popular picture books ever published! Children will delight in following the peddler’s efforts to outwit the monkeys and will ask to read it again and again. Caps for Sale is an excellent easy-to-read book that includes repetition, patterns, and colors, perfect for early readers. This tale of a peddler and a band of mischievous monkeys is filled with warmth, humor, and simplicity and also teaches children about problem and resolution.

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brina

    There once was a peddler who sold caps...he walked through town calling "Caps, caps for sale, fifty cents a cap." A timeless classic that we have probably read 100 times and one of all of our favorite books. This time I read it to my daughter's class. I had them play the role of the monkeys and they had much fun acting out their parts. And in the end the peddler walked back to town calling "caps, caps for sale, 50 cents a cap." There once was a peddler who sold caps...he walked through town calling "Caps, caps for sale, fifty cents a cap." A timeless classic that we have probably read 100 times and one of all of our favorite books. This time I read it to my daughter's class. I had them play the role of the monkeys and they had much fun acting out their parts. And in the end the peddler walked back to town calling "caps, caps for sale, 50 cents a cap."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    Wow! The kids really loved this one. They went crazy over it. I think it's the monkeys. They laughed and go around saying tsk tsk tsk now. I enjoyed this a lot too. I would give it 4 stars, but they got into it so much that I have to give it 5. The art feels pretty bland to me, not distinctive and yet the story is compelling. Something about all the monkeys in the trees. I don't really understand why this story works, it just does. This was recommended to me by a Goodreads user - Thank you kindly Wow! The kids really loved this one. They went crazy over it. I think it's the monkeys. They laughed and go around saying tsk tsk tsk now. I enjoyed this a lot too. I would give it 4 stars, but they got into it so much that I have to give it 5. The art feels pretty bland to me, not distinctive and yet the story is compelling. Something about all the monkeys in the trees. I don't really understand why this story works, it just does. This was recommended to me by a Goodreads user - Thank you kindly. I'm glad I read it. I think it would mean more if I read it in my childhood, but my niece and nephew really loved it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    A classic story that I first remember seeing on Reading Rainbow many moons ago. A hat peddler travels through town, trying to sell his wares. With no one around to make a purchase, he decides to take a nap under a tree and hope that sales will pick up in the afternoon. However, upon waking up, his hats of all colours are gone. He soon locates the thieves in the same tree that allowed him to rest, but it will take some cunning behaviours to ensure that the hats return to the peddler in time for h A classic story that I first remember seeing on Reading Rainbow many moons ago. A hat peddler travels through town, trying to sell his wares. With no one around to make a purchase, he decides to take a nap under a tree and hope that sales will pick up in the afternoon. However, upon waking up, his hats of all colours are gone. He soon locates the thieves in the same tree that allowed him to rest, but it will take some cunning behaviours to ensure that the hats return to the peddler in time for him to make a few sales before the sun goes down. Neo laughed when he saw what happened to the peddler and got a chuckle out of how things were handled. He asked me why we do not see hat peddlers walking around and selling things in town. I reminded him of the commercialization of the big box stores that try to stomp out the little guy. He nodded and went back to looking for peddlers on the sidewalk ;-)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I've had this touch of nostalgia lately...so, tonight I came across this book and I thought 'What the hell, why not review it and subject the GR community to my musings'--Keep in mind that it's 4:13am and I've had a shitty night. That said, Caps for Sale was a favorite of mine when I was young. I'd hunt down all the hats in our house and try to recreate the peddler's walk during one of my mom's work parties. This was the 70s and my mom's friends were of a uh... different sort... let's just say, l I've had this touch of nostalgia lately...so, tonight I came across this book and I thought 'What the hell, why not review it and subject the GR community to my musings'--Keep in mind that it's 4:13am and I've had a shitty night. That said, Caps for Sale was a favorite of mine when I was young. I'd hunt down all the hats in our house and try to recreate the peddler's walk during one of my mom's work parties. This was the 70s and my mom's friends were of a uh... different sort... let's just say, lots of drinking and bell bottoms and white men with afros, I'm sure hallucinogenics played some sort of role. Of course, we weren't much of a 'cap' family... I usually wore skull caps, plastic visors, big floppy straw hats, the occasional beer helmet... then I'd strut around bellowing 'caps for sale!' 'caps for sale!' Some relative or stoned out friend of the family would take pity on me and flip me a nickel and soon the whole room would be wearing my creations. Ahh... good times. Then, Carol, my one true college friend, (I was shy, okay?) gave me a copy. This was her favorite book, too. I hadn't read it in years and instantly the above memories came into play. Now, living through Reagan and Bush #41, I had a different take on the whole russian peddler. I took pity on this proletariat and his need to sell caps to support his family. And when no one is buying, the bastards, he's so distraught he collapses from exhaustion only to find a band of monkees (hmmm... a lousy euphemism, perhaps?) steals his caps and refuse to give them back until he admits defeat and then they mimic him and he's able to fall on his knees and collect his wares. Yeah, so I had lofty ideas back then. It was college. Then, tonight... I'm reunited with this book, once again. Only this time I'm in the emergency room observing a 14 yr old alcoholic who's alone and in crisis and waiting for someone to help her. Not a stitch of family around, obviously in distress, and I'm listening to her read Caps for Sale for the first time. I cannot even imagine what this poor girl has seen in her short life, I can't begin to relate...I'm sure that there are no relatives willing to further her imagination on. I'm sure she's not imagining a whole alter reality for this capsman and his band of monkees. She's looking at me as the sheriff places her in ankle chains and tosses the book aside on his way out. Yeah, not your typical review, but just a thought on how one book can mean so much and so little to two very different girls. It's almost daybreak, I'm going to sleep now. I pray that I don't dream about monkeys.

  5. 4 out of 5

    The Library Lady

    No fancy computer generated illustrations--just a bright, limited palette. No characters with their own TV show. No farting dogs, no cool pullouts or lift the flaps. Just a simple little story about "a peddler, some monkeys and their monkey business" But for 60 years kids have read and loved this story. I have never had a group of kids who didn't have fun shaking their fingers and stomping their feet along with the monkeys. This is what a true "classic" is all about! No fancy computer generated illustrations--just a bright, limited palette. No characters with their own TV show. No farting dogs, no cool pullouts or lift the flaps. Just a simple little story about "a peddler, some monkeys and their monkey business" But for 60 years kids have read and loved this story. I have never had a group of kids who didn't have fun shaking their fingers and stomping their feet along with the monkeys. This is what a true "classic" is all about!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mackey

    Caps, caps for sale, fifty cents a cap........This was the cry of the peddler who went through the town with a myriad of colorful caps piled high upon his head. But what happens to the caps when the poor peddler takes a nap under the tree will have you and your children laughing gleefully! I read this story a thousand or more times to each of my own children, all of our neighborhood kids, anyone who would sit still! I still have it memorized to this day and it still is our favorite story of all! Caps, caps for sale, fifty cents a cap........This was the cry of the peddler who went through the town with a myriad of colorful caps piled high upon his head. But what happens to the caps when the poor peddler takes a nap under the tree will have you and your children laughing gleefully! I read this story a thousand or more times to each of my own children, all of our neighborhood kids, anyone who would sit still! I still have it memorized to this day and it still is our favorite story of all! It's a must have for every child filled home.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    This book was cute and fun. It's a bit repetative but I imagine that would be helpful in reinforcing certain vocabulary words for beginning readers. I think it would also be a useful tool to teach colors and patterns. This book was cute and fun. It's a bit repetative but I imagine that would be helpful in reinforcing certain vocabulary words for beginning readers. I think it would also be a useful tool to teach colors and patterns.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    A wonderful memory from the past...what a great lesson on the futility of anger!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather after I read this one to the kids! I checked out Caps for Sale from the library because two of my friends rated this book highly, but I didn't read the book before I checked it out. I stuck it in my bag, along with Once Upon a Royal Superbaby, and on the bus ride home I read the book. "Oh, no," I thought, "the kids are going to think this is lame! There's no way this is going to be able to compete with that superbaby book!" Huh. Shows what I kno Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather after I read this one to the kids! I checked out Caps for Sale from the library because two of my friends rated this book highly, but I didn't read the book before I checked it out. I stuck it in my bag, along with Once Upon a Royal Superbaby, and on the bus ride home I read the book. "Oh, no," I thought, "the kids are going to think this is lame! There's no way this is going to be able to compete with that superbaby book!" Huh. Shows what I know! The kids *loved* this book! I thought my nephew was going to have some sort of hemorrhage from laughing so hard, and the more he laughed, the more my niece laughed. The more the kids laughed, the more my sister and I laughed! Pretty soon, it was a big old comedy hour in the car (which is where we read this book). I could not believe that a quaint little book from 1947, with a simple little story and simple little drawings could elicit such joy from those kids! My sister and I looked at each other in amazement, and I shrugged and said, "I know, right?!" The kids made me read Caps for Sale five times, and then they took it home so my sister could read it to them again later. Who'da thunk it?!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Adams

    For as many children's books as I read, this monkey business really made me laugh! For as many children's books as I read, this monkey business really made me laugh!

  11. 4 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews

    A pretty silly book about a peddler trying to sell hats, and the asshole moneys who keep messing around with his business. I thought it was silly when I read it as a kid, but then that's the point of many children's books, isn't it? A pretty silly book about a peddler trying to sell hats, and the asshole moneys who keep messing around with his business. I thought it was silly when I read it as a kid, but then that's the point of many children's books, isn't it?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tzippy

    You monkeys, you! You give me back my caps!!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    This peddler is a goddamn cheat. I don't blame the monkeys. OCCUPY CAPS! Can't wait to read this. This peddler is a goddamn cheat. I don't blame the monkeys. OCCUPY CAPS! Can't wait to read this.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A simple tale with lots of repetition and chances for audience participation. The pictures are a bit old fashioned, but the story is so entertaining that you don't notice enough to care. This one begs to be read aloud with lots of emotion! A simple tale with lots of repetition and chances for audience participation. The pictures are a bit old fashioned, but the story is so entertaining that you don't notice enough to care. This one begs to be read aloud with lots of emotion!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

    This is a great ACTION STORY. Let the children chant with you "Caps! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!" When you read the part where the peddler is hungry, rub your tummy. When he walks out into the country invite the children to stand up (oh so carefully -- so as not to upset your wares) and walk (in place)til you find a tree to nap under. Sit down (oh so carefully) and check your wares. Touch the imaginary black and white checkered cap, the brown caps (which may look yellow to the children -- This is a great ACTION STORY. Let the children chant with you "Caps! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!" When you read the part where the peddler is hungry, rub your tummy. When he walks out into the country invite the children to stand up (oh so carefully -- so as not to upset your wares) and walk (in place)til you find a tree to nap under. Sit down (oh so carefully) and check your wares. Touch the imaginary black and white checkered cap, the brown caps (which may look yellow to the children -- if so, say "yellow"), the blue caps, and finally way-on-top the red caps. When the peddler wakes up you and the children can stretch and then feel your heads for the caps (which are gone!). The peddler looks RIGHT so YOU look LEFT (as the children are mirroring you), and so forth. Now comes the fun part. You and the children all stand up and shake first one fist, then two fists and stamp with one foot while shaking both hands and then stamp with both feet while shaking both fists. You can listen to and view the complete story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INptS...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Westminster Library

    All the peddler wanted to do was sell some caps and mind his business; the monkeys however had other ideas. This is a great read aloud book for various age levels and of course, the interactive aspect of it will allow for readers to engage more with the story. There is repetition, patterns and colors, all things that are important in early literacy. Find Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business at the Westminster Public Library! All the peddler wanted to do was sell some caps and mind his business; the monkeys however had other ideas. This is a great read aloud book for various age levels and of course, the interactive aspect of it will allow for readers to engage more with the story. There is repetition, patterns and colors, all things that are important in early literacy. Find Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business at the Westminster Public Library!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Slytano

    This is one of the best books ever. Here is something you don't notice: In the first half of the book, the picture is always on the left page and the text is always on the right page. The center of the book is the only time that the picture is spread out over two pages. There is text on both of these pages as well. Having only one occurrence of this makes the spread noteworthy. In the second half of the book, all the pictures are on the right pages and the text is always on the left pages. It was This is one of the best books ever. Here is something you don't notice: In the first half of the book, the picture is always on the left page and the text is always on the right page. The center of the book is the only time that the picture is spread out over two pages. There is text on both of these pages as well. Having only one occurrence of this makes the spread noteworthy. In the second half of the book, all the pictures are on the right pages and the text is always on the left pages. It was originally published in the 1940s, and it really sticks out to me, since most all of the picture books presently published are not created this way. I don’t like that the monkeys make this sound: “Tsz, tsz, tsz.” What sound is that? Monkeys do not make that sound. It is nearly impossible for the human tongue to make that sound. I hate that sound and I wish Slobodkina would have used different words that I would have an easier time saying out loud. Now that I think about it, this book is rather odd. A peddler with a moustache walks around a village with 17 caps on his head. This seems an odd manner in which to transport one’s wares. The most curious thing is that he is selling his caps for only 50 cents each. That is not going to cover his costs. I would suggest that he study the principles of microeconomics. Also, this village is infested with monkeys that steal hats. I would not encourage anyone to visit this area, even if they are thrifty and pursuing caps.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lou Carolan

    A classic tale that is a perfect story time read. Esphyr Slobodkina tells of a peddler who carries his wares on his head - selling caps of all colors for 50 cents a cap. On a day when no one in town is buying, the peddler takes a long nap under a tree. He awakens to find no caps on his head; instead, the monkeys in the tree are all wearing his caps. When he yells at them, a humorous exchange occurs as the monkeys mimic the peddler’s angry rant. When he finally throws down his own cap in frustrat A classic tale that is a perfect story time read. Esphyr Slobodkina tells of a peddler who carries his wares on his head - selling caps of all colors for 50 cents a cap. On a day when no one in town is buying, the peddler takes a long nap under a tree. He awakens to find no caps on his head; instead, the monkeys in the tree are all wearing his caps. When he yells at them, a humorous exchange occurs as the monkeys mimic the peddler’s angry rant. When he finally throws down his own cap in frustration, the monkeys follow suit. Placing his caps back on his head, off he goes to sell his caps once again. Simple colors and drawings accompany a tight and rhythmic predictable text that encourages both laughter and participation. The patterned language includes a circular plotline as the story ends where it began.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Moore

    I love this story and the sneaky monkeys. It is the hat peddler who finds a way to outsmart the monkeys. Monkeys are known for mimicking, so watch out what you do around them. My son has a cap that looks like the checkered one worn by the peddler. Stacking hats on our heads and acting out this story was a favorite game of my grandchildren when they were little. They loved it when I would say "You monkey you ... you give me back my caps!" It was a good way to practice posture, trying to walk stra I love this story and the sneaky monkeys. It is the hat peddler who finds a way to outsmart the monkeys. Monkeys are known for mimicking, so watch out what you do around them. My son has a cap that looks like the checkered one worn by the peddler. Stacking hats on our heads and acting out this story was a favorite game of my grandchildren when they were little. They loved it when I would say "You monkey you ... you give me back my caps!" It was a good way to practice posture, trying to walk straight without spilling the hats. This story has been around since I was a little girl .. a classic!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Chind

    Caps for Sale 75th Anniversary Edition, 9/1/2015 with More Caps for Sale: Another Tale of Mischievous Monkeys on sale 10/27/2015. Read again to the NB, 2, 5, and 7 year old kiddos. 6/29/17 Wayfarers Pathways and SL P3/4 list. Will be on our literature list for our SC2 First Grader. Caps for Sale 75th Anniversary Edition, 9/1/2015 with More Caps for Sale: Another Tale of Mischievous Monkeys on sale 10/27/2015. Read again to the NB, 2, 5, and 7 year old kiddos. 6/29/17 Wayfarers Pathways and SL P3/4 list. Will be on our literature list for our SC2 First Grader.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Evan

    A "Wonder Book" meant for the youngest readers...This delighted me as a child, but I no longer squeal with delight at the monkeys thrown in as the deus ex machina. The idea of a dude with lots of hats is better realized in Dr. Seuss's The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. A "Wonder Book" meant for the youngest readers...This delighted me as a child, but I no longer squeal with delight at the monkeys thrown in as the deus ex machina. The idea of a dude with lots of hats is better realized in Dr. Seuss's The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Huda Fel

    Monkey see monkey do

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shiloah

    We enjoy this one. Tonight my Courtney (4) laughed all The way through. Such a great classic!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Dutkiewicz

    A fun story about a man selling caps but something curious happens when he falls asleep!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    3.5/5 A book about a peddler selling hats who takes a nap and has to deal with some mischievous monkeys!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Leila

    This book is great book to read, it allows children to learn about repetition. It teaches colors, patterns, and introduces to vocabularies. It also allows teachers to do do pattern activities.

  27. 5 out of 5

    VillaPark Public Library

    There are few picture books that are as beloved as Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina. A peddler, who balances a pile of caps on top of his head, takes a nap in the country. While asleep, a band of mischievous monkeys steal his caps. Drama ensues as he tries to get his caps back. On the surface, this is a simple tale, but the repetitions and patterns are perfect for early readers. The peddler’s frustrated anger and tantrums are hilarious and relatable. The memorable illustrations help younger ki There are few picture books that are as beloved as Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina. A peddler, who balances a pile of caps on top of his head, takes a nap in the country. While asleep, a band of mischievous monkeys steal his caps. Drama ensues as he tries to get his caps back. On the surface, this is a simple tale, but the repetitions and patterns are perfect for early readers. The peddler’s frustrated anger and tantrums are hilarious and relatable. The memorable illustrations help younger kids follow the story. Caps for Sale is a classic and a perfect read-aloud that is sure to engage and delight. Check this book out at the Villa Park Public Library!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Owen Townend

    Here's a cute little picture book that is over eighty years old. It has lived a long life in publishing, loved by multiple generations of children and parents. I can see why. The illustrations of Caps for Sale remind me of Mr Benn and Ivor the Engine in their smooth simplicity and limited colour palate. The absurdity of the Peddler balancing his wares atop his head has a timeless quality to it and the monkeys' mimicry add to the overall humour. From a slightly more grownup perspective, I found tha Here's a cute little picture book that is over eighty years old. It has lived a long life in publishing, loved by multiple generations of children and parents. I can see why. The illustrations of Caps for Sale remind me of Mr Benn and Ivor the Engine in their smooth simplicity and limited colour palate. The absurdity of the Peddler balancing his wares atop his head has a timeless quality to it and the monkeys' mimicry add to the overall humour. From a slightly more grownup perspective, I found that the Peddler's slow business and transactional frustrations still carry the same relevance to this date. It probably wasn't Slobodkina's intention for this to be a commentary on austerity but it amused me to spot it all the same. While it isn't the most ingenious picture book out there in terms of creativity and stimulation, I would say that this does the job it sets out to do: offers old-world comfort and perks up a smile with it's jolly misadventure. I recommend Caps for Sale to parents and guardians looking to share some classic storytelling with their little one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Veronica Foley

    This story was hilarious! My friend did a read aloud and as a full grown adult I was shouting the answers and playing along.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Sa

    Caps For Sale This is a stroy about a peddler and a group monkeys. One day, the strange peddler sold his caps. Why I said he is a strange peddler? Because he putted his all caps in his own head. 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. He walked up and down the streets to sell his caps. But no one wanted to buy a cap even the red caps. He felt so hungry in the afternoon, but he h Caps For Sale This is a stroy about a peddler and a group monkeys. One day, the strange peddler sold his caps. Why I said he is a strange peddler? Because he putted his all caps in his own head. 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. He walked up and down the streets to sell his caps. But no one wanted to buy a cap even the red caps. He felt so hungry in the afternoon, but he had no money. Thus, he went to the country to sell his caps. When he walked come to a great tree, he had a rest. After he woke up, he found his all caps were lost. Then, he found a group of monkey wore his caps. He felt so angry about that. But whatever he did, whatever he said, the monkeys always said ‘’Tsz, tsz, tsz.’’ to him. At the end, the peddle had no idea about that. He pulled off his own cap, threw it on the ground, and began to walk away. But then, each monkey did the same action like him. So, the peddle got his all caps back. In this story, I felt the group monkey just like a group a children. Because children always like to imitate adults’ behaviors. When I was young, I always liked to wear my mother’s high-heeled shoes and her dress. I think it is very beautiful for me. I also wanted to grow up quickly and I can dress all of them. Also, in china, many mothers like to call their children who are very naughty monkeys. The sense it is very similar with each other. Maybe sometimes children are very naughty and parents are so angry about that. But parents have no idea about how to teach them to become well. I think if parents can play with children, they will understand their minds and understand their children’s behaviors.

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