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Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
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Caps for Sale Big Book (Reading Rainbow Book) Paperback – January 18, 1996

4.7 out of 5 stars 510 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Caps for sale Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 full of cap-wearing monkeys. His attempts to get the caps back generate the kind of repetitive rhythm that 3- and 4-year-olds will adore. (Preschool and older) --Richard Farr --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"From an old folk tale [the author] has fashioned this bright picture book, infusing it with a humor which seems to have sprung from her own hearty enjoyment of the troubles of a peddler with a abnd of monkeys."" --The New York Times --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: AD480L (What's this?)
  • Series: Reading Rainbow Book
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HarperFestival (January 18, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064433137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064433136
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 17 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (510 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Board book
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.
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Format: Paperback
This adorable story is simple enough to read to infants under the age of one. By the time they are two, children can easily memorize it and begin to distinguish words on the page.
It is particularly delightful for young children, who can identify both with the peddler's nap and his anger at the monkeys in a tree, who have stolen his caps.
Altogether, the story is pure joy. Your copy is sure to wear out before your children reach the age of five, as ours did. Alyssa A. Lappen
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I purchased this board book for my 2-year-old daughter who had fallen in LOVE with my mother's 1966 paperback edition, in an interest to preserve its delicate pages.

You can imagine my disappointment as I read it to her, discovering that important phrases, entire pages, and key details were left out of this edition, especially the rhythmic phrasing, and some of the low points of the book, completely flattening what had been a dynamic and suspenseful story. Even she noticed the difference and asked for the old book back.

I would love to be able to get a new copy of the original story, however this is not it.
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Format: Paperback
Caps For Sale is a wonderful tale that students love to read. It is an ideal book for shared reading and offers opportunities for students to learn about the structure of a good story. Slobodkina's story of a peddler trying to sell his wares in a small town has a clear beginning, middle, and end. You need this one if you would like children to learn how to make predictions, recognize patterns, sequence events, and notice setting elements. This book is a "must have" classic in any K and 1st grade classroom.
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Format: Paperback
A folktale fastforwarded to 1940. In this fine lighthearted little yarn, author Esphyr Slobodkina reinvigorates the folk tradition with a marvelous story. In it, a peddler looses his hats to a tree of 16 chattering monkeys and must find a way to get them back. There is no overwhelming complexity in the text of this tale, but sixty-some years after its original publication there is still great charm in its words. Accompanying the staid story is a series of brightly colored illustrations. The peddler seen here is not your classic workaday schmoe in dirty clothes and a five-o-clock shadow. He is prim and pristine. With a moustache like Hercule Poirot's, a smart black suit, and a pair of cheerful red spats he is a picture of competence and sterility. Which makes his eventual foot-stomping, fist-shaking temper tantrum at the mischievous monkeys all the more amusing. I was particularly taken with the monkeys response to the peddler's demands. All they say is, "Tsz, tsz, tsz". Who knew we shared this phrase with our simian kin? Slobodkina has created a precise little tale. Though she never says it, sixteen caps sit atop the peddler's head (his preferred method of peddling his wares, doncha know) and sixteen monkey pinch them. The combination of bright colors, funny monkeys, and the dapper little peddler man make this a real treasure of 1940s children's literature.
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Format: Paperback
When I was a child in the early '60s, Captain Kangaroo (remember him?) would read different books on his TV program. That was my introduction to Caps For Sale. I thought I'd come across the NEXT GREAT BOOK, not knowing that it was already over twenty years old when I'd heard it. Back then, I'd always marvelled at how the monkeys stole every cap EXCEPT the peddler's own checkered one. Now my little four year old genius asks the same question, except it's more in the line of: "Mom, didn't the monkeys like the checked cap?" Or, "Mom, how did they have enough monkeys for all the caps except the checked one?" I am amazed at the concepts this story can bring about. Counting (the caps in each group), sorting (the caps by color), how 'simple' the monkeys were ("Mom, didn't they know that the caps would fall?"). And here I thought it was just the NEXT GREAT BOOK (at least, in my six year old mind). Having my kids gave me the perfect 'excuse' to have this book as an adult ;-)
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