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WARNING: Abridged! NOT the "classic tale" as promised
on July 28, 2010
The back of this book promises "the classic tale of a peddler, some monkeys and their monkey business."
And I love the classic tale, and so do my kids, for its sweet innocent text, its rhythmic repetitions and the unique character and palette of its illustrations. All of which are preserved here except... as I discovered when I sat down to read this to a group of kids at circle time... the delightful text. Oh, and some of the pictures.
I would definitely not call it the SAME BOOK since the text is different, and I think it's mighty sneaky of the publisher (HarperFestival) to hint that you're getting "the classic tale" when what you're getting is some editorial department's cut-n-slash decisions about what makes the book tick.
What I like about this book is the repetition of the order of the hats, which kids enjoy as well, but one full repeat is missing, and another has been pared down slightly. Some of the text has been skipped - the entire second page - and elsewhere, it's paraphrased for brevity.
Perhaps if you've never read the original, you'll enjoy this book. For me, used to the rhythms and humour of the original, this board book version is woefully lacking.
Luckily, our version is from the library, so all I have to do is give it back - no returns processing necessary. I hope others will learn from my mistake before it ends up costing them the $9/$12 (in Canada), plus shipping, that they'd have to pay to get this book home. And the disappointment of knowing it's not the "classic tale" at all.