Monday, March 12, 2012

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

Classic Reading for Kids is an annual event hosted by myself and Ella of where we focus on Classic Reading for Kids and then we GIVE THEM AWAY! 

Today and each day this week I will be focusing on my favorite books for the Preschool Age Group and on Saturday - I will be giving them ALL away to ONE LUCKY winner! Is that winner going to be you? You'll find out on Saturday!

To enter the giveaway this week you must return to my blog each day where I will post the answer to that day's entry. To receive your entry that day you will need that answer. Ella will be featuring 5 books on her blog too and doing a giveaway there as well. So, you have 2 chances to WIN big this week!

Day 2 - Book Review & Giveaway

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

by Esphyr Slobodkina
ISBN: 978-0064431439
$6.99, age 3+, 48 pages

About the book:
A cap peddler wakes from a nap to find all his caps are gone-a bunch of naughty monkeys have taken them up a tree. Angrily shaking his finger at the monkeys, the peddler demands his caps back, but the monkeys only shake their fingers and say "Tsz, tsz, tsz." No matter what the peddler does, the monkeys only imitate him. Finally, the peddler is so enraged he throws his cap on the ground-and all the monkeys follow suit!

My thoughts:
This is the timeless story of a peddler who carries all of his stock on his head until one day he falls asleep under a tree and when he wakes up all of his hats are gone (except his very own hat). Where did they go? How will he get them back? 

The illustrations in the book are simple, eye catching and will keep children involved in the story. The story itself with it's fun story and repetitive passages draw children and they will rapidly learn the story and read it along with you or on their own. It's an ideal story book for children to begin "reading" to themselves and younger siblings. 

Caps For Sale was written and first published in 1938 by Esphyr Slobodkina and is based on a Ukranian Folktale. Esphyr was born in the Siberian town of Chelyabinsk and grew up in China where she studied art and architecture. After immigrating to the US at age 29, she met Margaret Wise Brown and began a career in abstract art and also illustrated several of Margaret Wise Brown's books like The Little Fireman, Sleepy ABC's and the Big and Little Series as well many books she wrote (and co-wrote) over the years. So far 2,000,000+ copies of Caps For Sale have been sold over the decades and it ranks right up there with favorites like Good Night Moon.  

If you ever get a chance to visit Glen Head, Long Island, NY visit her mini museum to view more than 200 works of art, her handmade dolls and jewelry as well as Esphyr's complete collection of children's storybooks, including some of her original illustrations such as the collage illustration below. The Foundation provides children’s literacy activities, discussion groups, art tours, and interactive performances to school groups, senior organizations, and community groups.


Learn more about Esphyr Slobodkina on the website. 

Fun Family Activities:
Original Collage Illustration
courtesy of the
1) Themetic unit for classrooms, homeschools or just for fun.
2) Make your own Collage of a scene from Caps For Sale. Use brown construction paper (cut out 'trunks' for younger kids). Let them paste it on white construction paper. Have small rectangles or cut out ovals to signify hats available for younger children to paste on their picture. Older children can cut out their own 'caps'. The shape of the "hat" isn't as important as encouraging children to express themselves and be creative.
3) Caps For Sale Lapbook and Activities (little poems, math and language activities) - note from me: I could see parts of the lapbook being made into a "felt or quiet type book". Just a thought.

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It's Day 2 of the Classic Reading for Kid's Giveaway Event. I've officially changed the mandatory entry to today's question. Be sure to read this post to know the answer.


1 comment:

  1. We read this in my classroom and act out the book - it is a great engaging story with multiple ways to teach the themes of colors, patterns, manners, storytelling, etc. Love it!