does anyone remember this book?

I had a major flashback when I spotted it at the library. Caps for Sale told and illustrated by Esphyr Slobodkina, original copyright 1940. I totally remember reading this book as a kid. It’s an odd little story about cap swiping monkeys. What I really love are the illustrations, especially the colors. (no surprise there).

36 thoughts on “does anyone remember this book?

  1. Stephanie says:

    This was a favorite from my childhood too, so I made sure to get it for my kids. Absolutely love the colors and style. My kids really love to act the story out and also try to walk around with all the hats in the house stacked on their heads yelling, “Caps for sale! 50 cents a cap!” Cute.

  2. Bertha says:

    Oh wow! Does this ever take me back! I haven’t thought of this book in years, but yes, we definitely had it in the house when I was kid! Awesome!

  3. robin.. says:

    oh man oh man, i totally remember that book from when i was a kid. the classics endure for a reason, and this one has held up so beautifully! except, upon reflection, i’ve become pretty sure that this book is responsible for my loathing of monkeys…

  4. P says:

    OMG! I remember this book. I remember watching Reading Rainbow, too. My husband and I were just talking about how they don’t make kids’ shows like they used to. Hillary, you are our new Reading Rainbow, reminding us of our childhood favorites. 😛

  5. Rose says:

    For those of us who are really old ;>, they used to read this all the time on Captain Kangaroo. It’s great!!! Along with the really terrific one that I can’t remember the name of, about the cat who wanted to be a dalmation so she could ride on the fire truck.

  6. Erin says:

    The hat book reminds me of the one about the old couple with all the cats who fight about who is the prettiest cat. Sort of gory, actually, but I always liked it.

  7. hillary says:

    let’s not throw around “really” in front of “old” because I never watched any Reading Rainbow but I sure as heck was a Captain Kangaroo girl!
    The Fire Cat by Esther Averill maybe?

  8. susanne says:

    oh i totally remember that book, so funny, i was just telling my guy about it–how could he have NOT read it?!!!
    and i remember that cat book too and i agree, kind of grisly but fun.
    makes me to reread all my kiddie books–my parents would be glad i’m taking them to my place, my guy on the other hand would throw a fit–more stuff! :0

  9. s.brownrobie says:

    apparently that was my one of my older brother’s favorites…mom said he always used to collect every hat in the house and wear them all at once.

  10. shanna says:

    This was a BIG FAVORITE of mine, anlong with Flat Stanley and anything by Leo Leoni or Ezra Jack Keats, especially The Snowy Day! Thanks for the flashback.

  11. Rose says:

    Thanks Hillary!
    It is the “The Fire Cat”. Since you are a Capt Kangaroo kid, is this the one where they used to have all of the cats sing the “meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow” song? I think they were having a celebratory parade when Pickles got the job. I get that stuck in my head every once in a while (like now….)
    OK, we are not “really” old, not old at all, actually.

  12. Jane says:

    Yes! I remember that book! Excellent. It reminds me of another favorite childhood book, “Miss Jaster’s Garden”. I’m sure you’re familiar with it, but if not you really should take a look – wonderful illustrations with great colors by N.M. Bodecker:
    And, it’s got a hedgehog. 😉

  13. Ez says:

    Oh my goodness… I absolutely loved this book as a child, and still do. Unfortunately my daughter isn’t such a fan (which was a little dissapointing as I practically screamed in excitement when finding it at the library a few months ago). My absolute favorites from childhood were Blueberries for Sal; Make way for Ducklings; the Snip, Snap, and Snur books as well as the Flika, Rikka, and Dikka books. Thanks for the happy memory jog.

  14. Anamaria says:

    I think Erin’s thinking of Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag? Some people consider this the first true picture book.
    We first heard Caps for Sale at our local library’s storytime; the librarian had all the kids chiming in on the tch, tch, tch. We love it!

  15. Jenny says:

    ooooh that’s a great book! I do believe I have it somewhere packed up. I can’t wait to rediscover all my books when the kiddo will want to sit and listen to them. For now he thinks books are for eating or ripping. haha.

  16. Jean says:

    We still have my husband’s copy of this book from when he was a child. We read it to our six-year old often. It’s one of his faves.

  17. sarah says:

    Wow! I had totally forgotten about that book. Talk about a flashback hitting me like atruck! i remember practicing piling hats on top of my head and walking around the loungeroom…

  18. lisa says:

    We just had that book out from the library a few weeks ago. It was one of my favorites as a child, and I was happy to find my daughter loved it too. She’s just two, but she got a kick out of saying, “No caps!” along with me as I read it to her.

  19. roo says:

    My cousins, my sister and I used to act out “Caps for Sale”– I’m so glad to hear that kids still do.
    I also loved “Millions of Cats” (Wanda Gag rocks!) “Bedtime for Frances” “Tiki-Tiki-Tembo” and “Wait ‘Til the Moon is Full,” and just about anything illustrated by Tasha Tudor…

  20. kristen says:

    i couldn’t even say how many times i read that book as a child. LOVE IT. thanks for reminding me of it; i want to run out a buy a copy for my daughter right now.

  21. seedpod says:

    We had a preschool co-op for my daughter last year. One time when it was my turn I piled all the hats i could find on my head and walked around the house calling, “Caps for sale!” The kids were all up in the tree (standing on the couch), I sat down to take a snooze, and my caps were stolen. We laughed so hard as I jumped up and down to get my caps back. At our end of the year party it was the kids favorite thing they had done all year!

  22. jenny says:

    Oh, my gosh, I was just trying to explain that book to my boyfriend a couple of weeks ago, but he didn’t seem to fully grasp its wonderfulness when I did it. Maybe I’ll try again …

  23. Siri says:

    I had Caps for Sale when I was little, too, and when I found it at the thrift store, I bought it for our kids. This time around, I fell for the colors as well as the story. Both the boys love it, playing out the parts of the monkeys and the salesman.
    Beware of reprints where the colors are not so true. I found a copy one time that I was going to get for a friend, but the colors were drab and yuck. So disappointing.
    We were at a music festival this weekend in Oregon where there was a woman who was walking around selling asian style sun hats that were stacked up on her head. Everytime we saw her we yelled out, “Caps for Sale, Caps for Sale, $15 a cap!”
    Last spring I was knitting some long socks and they kept reminding me of the colors in the book.
    Sock picture:

  24. stella says:

    oh my god, i had completely forgotten about it until i saw the pages! wow, funny how memory triggers work… i believe i ended up drawing all over it with a scarlet crayon. thanks for posting!!

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