One of the books we enjoy reading with our Kindergarten groups early in the school year is Caps for Sale. I love books for this age with a repeated refrain. The children love the way the monkeys copy the peddler and then are 'tricked' into tossing down those caps. This classic book is now 75 years old.
I have a small collection of caps and we all practice the refrain "caps, caps for sale, fifty cents a cap."
All of this means I was quite excited when More Caps for Sale arrived in our standing order parcel from Bloomin' books this week.
Now take a minute to look at this video taken from Caps for Sale The Musical. Anne Marie Mulhearn Sayer worked with Esphyr Slobodkina for many years and from this collaboration Sayer was able to use Slobodkina's work (she died in 2002) to create this new installment.
This newest book opens with the same first page as the original. Over the page the action continues. "While the peddler traveled home that day he thought about the bunch of monkeys who had taken his caps." The peddler does not look back so he does not see these same pesky monkeys are now following him.
Here are some text extracts you could compare
"He looked to the left of him. No caps.
He looked to the right of him. No caps.
He looked behind him. No caps"
"He turned on his right side. No sleep
He turned on his left side. No sleep
He lay on his back. No sleep."
I think Esphyr Slobodkina would absolutely approve of this new story. It has been carefully crafted, it is faithful to the original, it is funny and it continues this story in a very satisfying way.
After reading Caps for Sale and More Caps for sale take a look at Fifty Red nightcaps. With a class of older students you could compare these texts and discuss the strengths and perhaps weaknesses of Fifty Red nightcaps which innovates on the original text.
Finally take a little time to read this review in the New York Times.
But if you stand in front of a group of kids and announce that you are going to read this book, inevitably hands will shoot into the air and the kids will start telling you how they love that book / have that book / have read that book / etc. It’s very rewarding.