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Caps For Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business (Caps for Sale #1)

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  72,364 Ratings  ·  1,121 Reviews
Subtitled A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business, this absurd and very simple story has become a classic, selling hundreds of thousands of copies since its first publication in 1940. A peddler walks around selling caps from a tall, tottering pile on his head. Unable to sell a single cap one morning, he walks out into the countryside, sits down under a ...more
Library Binding, 22 pages
Published 1973 by Addison-Wesley (first published 1938)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Brina
Mar 01, 2016 Brina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
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."
Kim
Jun 06, 2009 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, holy-shit
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
...more
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!
Amy
Sep 30, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, reviewed
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
...more
Jason
Oct 15, 2013 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This peddler is a goddamn cheat. I don't blame the monkeys.

OCCUPY CAPS!

Can't wait to read this.
Tzippy
You monkeys, you! You give me back my caps!!!
Slytano
Aug 15, 2013 Slytano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
Zeke
Apr 01, 2016 Zeke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, it was. (Yoda)
Huda
Nov 23, 2014 Huda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: en-pic-books
Monkey see monkey do
Becky
First sentence: Once there was a peddler who sold caps. But he was not like an ordinary peddler carrying his wares on his back. He carried them on top of his 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.

Premise/plot: One morning--after having no luck selling his caps--he decides to take a detour, a walk in the country. This leads to a nap, of course! While under a tree--sleepi
...more
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
...more
Julia
Oct 23, 2015 Julia rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, classics, 2015
I've read this before. But now I'm an adult and not as creative.

So this is how this story goes. A seemingly well-dressed man sells caps for a living. This nameless wretch becomes hungry, but he cannot eat anything because he sold no caps today and cannot afford it. So he takes a nap to stave off the relentless grip of starvation.

When he wakes up, he finds that his caps are gone. And for some strange reason, monkeys (who may or may not be indigenous to the area) have taken all his caps and are we
...more
June
Mar 08, 2012 June rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hat, monkey and classics requests
This story really resonates with children. As an adult, I prefer The Hatseller And The Monkeys. Monkeys appearing randomly in the countryside seems a little inexplicable to me, but I realize that is just an adult fetish or perspective. It is probably more of a 4 and a half, with older children you can act it out afterwards, though with older children I now usually us the Hatseller and the Monkeys. I use it both for a March Hats program and a summer Monkey program. 3/7/12

Maybe a little long for t
...more
Michelle
Oct 01, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: catalog
Summary:
Subtitled A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business, this absurd and very simple story has become a classic, selling hundreds of thousands of copies since its first publication in 1940. A peddler walks around selling caps from a tall, tottering pile on his head. Unable to sell a single cap one morning, he walks out into the countryside, sits down under a tree, checks that all the caps are in place, and falls asleep. When he wakes up, the caps are gone--and the tree is
...more
Vivian
Use this story as an excuse to get children up on their feet to do the actions with the peddler and the monkeys!

Pantomime putting caps on your head -- first your own checked cap, then the gray caps, then the brown caps, then the blue caps, and the red caps up on top. Next stand up very straight and walk in place (very carefully so as not to topple the caps). Rub your tummy (you're hungry). Look in your palm (you have no money). Continue walking in place (out to the country). Very carefully sit b
...more
Christina De la Garza
Slobodkina, Esphyr. Caps for Sale (1940). A comical mustachioed peddler balances his wares- a high stack of caps of different hues and patterns- atop his head. When he takes a break, he falls asleep under a tree and wakes to find that his hats are missing! The peddler finds that a misfit band of monkeys has stolen his caps. How will he ever get them back? The story's prose, written in a larger typeface, is ideal for emerging readers, who will be easily able to memorize the repeating verses, such ...more
Jennifer
Feb 02, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite predictable children's picture books of all time! Esphyr Slobodkina basis her story on an old folktale. A peddler who sells hats decides to take a nap after a slow day of not selling any caps. While the peddler naps, some mischievous little monkeys steal the peddlers caps. Upon awakening, the peddler demands the monkeys return his caps. The monkeys imitate the peddler as he shakes his fist and stomps his foot, but it isn't until the peddler throws down his cap that the ...more
Vivian
Dec 06, 2012 Vivian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
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 --
...more
Amy Forrester
May 10, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A peddler sets out one day to sell caps. He places them on his head; first, his own grey checked cap, then four grey caps, four blue caps, and finally four red caps on the very top. No one wants to buy a cap that day, so he decides to take a nap under a tree. When he wakes up, his caps are gone, leaving just his grey checked cap! He looks left. No caps. He looks right. No caps. He finally looks up and sees a tree full of monkeys, each one wearing a cap. He shakes his fist at the monkeys and they ...more
Russell
Dec 20, 2014 Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Decades ago, my kindergarten had a graduation celebration for my class, which featured a class play. The sole speaking part in the play, the peddler, was assigned to me by the staff without hesitation. My peers did not question this decision for a moment, but instead fell in line as monkeys, mimicking my movements as our parents watched.

Life was good. The most attractive girl in the school was my girlfriend, I was always selected to play the role of He-Man on the playground, I could perform arit
...more
Becky
Jul 24, 2008 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids age 2 and up
Shelves: children-and-ya
I'd heard of this book for years and years but never read it until I snagged a free copy from our local library's used book bin.

I now understand why I heard about this book for years and years. It became one of my daughter's favorite books after just one read-through. This folk-tale-like story is engaging but simple, as are the illustrations.

A peddler walks slowly through the village with his wares -- many different-colored caps -- stacked high on his head. He's having a slow sales day, so he d
...more
Lana Clifton
Classic! I read this book aloud in my Kindergarten placement, for an assignment involving a prop. So, I stitched 19 hats from red, blue, brown and grey felt. I dressed myself in the peddler's attire, complete with a handle-bar mustache from party city. The children were so excited to see me all dressed up- and hear me speak in a manly voice-- they almost didn't recognize me. They acted out the monkey's role, and each student shook their hat and waved their fingers calling "Tsz, Tsz, Tsz....". Th ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This is an old classic, and while the illustrations look vaguely familiar to me I couldn't say for sure whether I read this as a kid. As the subtitle says, it's the story of a cap peddler, some monkeys and their monkey business. The peddler wears all the caps on his own head, organised by colour; when he takes a nap under a tree one day he wakes up to find them all gone. After futilely looking around, he looks up at the tree and finds it full of monkeys, each one wearing one of his caps. He then ...more
Mark Baker
Sep 25, 2016 Mark Baker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book, 2016
One day, a cap peddler decides to take a break by napping under a tree. When he awakes, he finds his caps have been stolen by monkeys who were in the tree he slept under. Can he get them back?

I loved this book as a kid, and I found it just as delightful now. The writing is simple, so a beginning reader could handle it. The story is fairly straightforward, but it is still filled with fun. And the illustrations are delightful as well.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Rachel
Feb 23, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody!
I really just love this book. It was a favorite of mine when I was a child and I still love it just as much as I did then. It's so good! It has everything--caps, sales, napping, and monkeys (how is that not a recipe for a great book?!)! I love the monkeys. Seriously, I'm pretty sure that I used to want to be them. I will definitely be reading this book again and again to myself and my future children.

I also still want a red cap.
Evatron
Dec 29, 2013 Evatron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Caps for Sale is one of my most favorite children's books, it is funny for young children. This book is based about a man selling caps, and a ll he says all day is "Caps for Sale!" "Fifty Cents a Cap! But one day he takes a rest under a tree, and when he wakes up he finds out all his caps are gone! They were stolen by monkeys!
midnightfaerie
Jul 24, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
A book we got because it was on a top children's book list. However, none of us were too interested in this story. The illustrations were only so-so, and the story line left something to be desired. Nothing about this really stood out for me except that maybe it was a level 3 or 4 reading level for beginners, so it might be useful if your child is at that level.
Jill
Aug 13, 2007 Jill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: youngsters
Shelves: kids-n-teens
I may hate monkey commercials, monkey skits on SNL, monkey movies, monkeys at the zoo, monkeys dressed in children's clothing, monkey bars, the monkey (ok gorilla) from Congo, the Black Eyed Peas' Monkeybusiness cd, phrases that contain the word "monkey," but I do love this book and those hilarious literary monkeys. Oh, and I also like Monkey Bread and think I'll ask my mommy to make me some.
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