Sunday, September 25, 2016

Book Review: Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Timeless story filled with fun
Cons: All cons stolen by monkeys
The Bottom Line:
Peddler loses caps
To a tree filled with monkeys
Book of timeless fun




Monkeying Around with Caps

I was reminded of this book from my own childhood recently, and I immediately knew I had to reread it.  Sometimes, when you do pick up a childhood favorite, it doesn’t hold up to what you remember.  Fortunately, with Caps for Sale, that wasn’t an issue at all.

The story is fairly simple and follows a cap salesman.  This man walks around the village all day selling the caps he keeps stacked on his head.  On this particular day, he isn’t have any luck selling caps, so he walks into the country and finds a tree to lean up again to rest.  When he awakes, he’s refreshed, but all but one cap is missing.  They’ve been taken by monkeys who were in the tree while he napped.  How can he get them back?

I had remembered the book was fairly simple, and I found when I reread it that I was correct.  Yet that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  This is a picture book after all, and the storyline is easy enough for kids to follow.  I remember as a kid, I easily understood why the monkeys gave back the caps at the end, and I found the story fun and funny.  I still enjoyed it just as much as an adult.

The book is written and illustrated by Esphyr Slobodkina.  The book was originally published in the 1940’s, and that explains some of the details in the illustrations, especially the man’s wardrobe.  Yet there is an elegance to them that is timeless.  Kids will still love them.

While this isn’t typically classified as an easy reader, I think it would work for those ready for a slightly more challenging book.  Words like monkey and peddler are about the hardest words you’ll find here.

So if you have fond memories of Caps for Sale, don’t hesitate to introduce it to your kids.  The timeless fun is still there waiting for a new generation to discover.

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