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

(Caps for Sale)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  90,537 ratings  ·  1,569 reviews
Caps for Sale is a timeless classic beloved by 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
Paperback, 48 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by HarperCollins (first published 1940)
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  90,537 ratings  ·  1,569 reviews

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Start your review of Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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." ...more
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
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jun 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: holy-shit, children
I've had this touch of nostalgia, 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
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!
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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!
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. ...more
Jon Nakapalau
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful memory from the past...what a great lesson on the futility of anger!
Sep 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, childrens
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
Ashley Adams
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
For as many children's books as I read, this monkey business really made me laugh! ...more
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? ...more
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
You monkeys, you! You give me back my caps!!!
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This peddler is a goddamn cheat. I don't blame the monkeys.


Can't wait to read this.
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! ...more
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 --
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!
Aug 15, 2013 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
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
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.
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. ...more
Huda Fel
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: en-pic-books
Monkey see monkey do
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
We enjoy this one. Tonight my Courtney (4) laughed all
The way through. Such a great classic!
Kristen Dutkiewicz
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
A fun story about a man selling caps but something curious happens when he falls asleep!
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it

A book about a peddler selling hats who takes a nap and has to deal with some mischievous monkeys!
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.
VillaPark Public Library
May 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brian
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 ...more
Owen Townend
Jul 31, 2021 rated it liked it
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
Veronica Foley
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This story was hilarious! My friend did a read aloud and as a full grown adult I was shouting the answers and playing along.
Cindy Sa
Feb 20, 2014 rated it liked it
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
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Other books in the series

Caps for Sale (4 books)
  • More Caps for Sale: Another Tale of Mischievous Monkeys
  • Circus Caps for Sale
  • Caps for Sale and the Mindful Monkeys (Caps for Sale)

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