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Caps for Sale facts for kids

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Caps for Sale
The cover of a late edition of Caps for Sale.
Author Esphyr Slobodkina
Illustrator Esphyr Slobodkina
Cover artist Esphyr Slobodkina
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's literature
Publisher W. R. Scott
Publication date
Media type Print
Pages 48
ISBN 978-0064431439
OCLC 13008528

Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business is a children's picture book, written and illustrated by Esphyr Slobodkina and published by W. R. Scott in 1940.


Based on a folktale, the story follows a mustachioed cap selling street vendor (unnamed in the book, he is known as Pezzo in the sequel Circus Caps for Sale) who wears his entire stock of caps on his head. When the peddler takes a nap under a tree, a troupe of monkeys steal all the caps but his own and put them on. The peddler tries in vain to get the monkeys to return the caps, but they only imitate his actions. Finally he throws his own cap on the ground in disgust and walks away, causing the monkeys to do the same. The peddler collects the caps off the ground and goes on his way.


It is Slobodkina's best-known work, and has sold more than two million copies. Caps for Sale is a popular read-aloud book, because its repetitive text permits children to speak the lines and thus join in the reading experience.

It won a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958.


Slobodkina published a sequel, Pezzo the Peddler and the Circus Elephant, in 1967, twenty-seven years after the publication of Caps for Sale. It was reissued in 2002, after Slobodkina's death, as Circus Caps for Sale. A direct sequel bringing back the monkeys, More Caps for Sale, was published in 2015, credited jointly to Slobodkina and her long time personal assistant Ann Marie Mulhearn Sayer. This was followed by Caps for Sale and the Mindful Monkeys in 2017. The illustrations for the latter two books were created by scanning and editing images from Slobodkina's original artwork.

Other media

Caps for Sale was included as one of five stories on the 1986 VHS release Five Stories for the Very Young from Weston Woods Studios, animated using illustrations from the book. An unrelated animated version was released on Scholastic's 2007 collection Scholastic Storybook Treasures on DVD.

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