This review is courtesy of Sherrie. Learn more about Sherrie below!
- TITLE: Caps For Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys, and Their Monkey Business
- WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED BY: Esphyr Slobodkina
- PAGES: 48
- ISBN: 9780439120616
- Available on Amazon, here.
The cover of this paperback book shows a man in a tree, hats on the ground, and a couple of monkeys. I immediately assumed this would be a book about entrepreneurship but couldn’t tell from the cover what type of “monkey business” would be involved. Scanning through the book, I liked how the illustrations stood out independent of the words by not having the text on the same pages of the pictures. This allows me to fold back the book with the illustration facing my tiny humans as I read the story to them.
Super Speedy Summary
The story is about a meticulous peddler whose caps were stolen by a bunch of monkeys while he took a nap. When he tried to get them back, the monkeys mocked and toyed with him by imitating everything he did. This irritates the peddler to the point where he gives up, throws his own cap to the ground, and storms off. Since the monkeys were copying him, they did the same. The peddler retrieves his caps from the ground and goes on about his day.
This is one of those books that have quite a few bits of hidden gems of life messages in them. There are a couple of points to this story that really stood out for me which are the struggles of entrepreneurship and patience. It’s a story I can personally relate to as a stay at home mom who also runs a business and my children are able to connect what I do by comparing me with the peddler. So if you’re looking for a book that will help explain to your child your own story as a business owner (if that applies to you), Caps for Sale is a good starting point.
With this book, I’m able to describe to them how their father and I sometimes feel after a day of work. Like the peddler in the story, we’re out there in the world letting people know we have caps for sale. It’s hard as it is tiring. The story demonstrates this point when the peddler takes a nap under the tree after not selling a single cap. This allowed us to have discussions about our own experiences and feelings about working hard and not receiving the gratification we desire like a new client or a passing grade. We were able to bond over frustrations we can all relate to regardless of our age.
When the monkeys stole the caps and toyed with the peddler, he tried everything to get what he needed back from them. We talked about situations that we can ascribe to as “monkeys.” For me, my monkeys would be investing time into something that doesn’t work for my business and for my children, that would be learning something new that may be hard to grasp. These are some of the things that makes us angry. So when the peddler lost his temper and decided to give up, we all shared the sentiment. This opened up discussions for problem solving strategies and discovered ways to keep cool under pressure to get what you need.
Overall, Caps for Sale is a great book to create conversations with your child about working hard and adversity. For me, I felt these attributes were important in helping my children understand what it’s like to be an adult which is not much different than being a kid. Like I mentioned before, there are many messages hidden in the story. Whatever your personal story is, this book can help you connect with your child.
About the Reviewer
I’m Sherrie Lanell, owner of Sherrie Lanell Photography and the author of Be Yourself Mom Blog. I am an introvert documentary photographer, marketing consultant, blogger, and vegan foodie. My mission is to encourage moms to be themselves and document their journeys with photographs for the sake of their children. I am a NJ mom, married with two adult children, a little dude and dudette to whom I shall call my tiny humans.
My oh my, this book review really got my wheels turning! First and foremost, I hadn’t read this book before (but after I read Sherrie’s review I was compelled to order it). As a small business owner myself, I know the struggles and frustrations that come along with growing a business – and the nagging desire to just give up. It’s tempting to throw your cap and walk away, but it’s those who are patient and willing to endure hard times that are really successful. So when it comes to hustling to run a successful business, this book speaks volumes about the struggles of entrepreneurship. As Sherrie mentions, if you are a fellow business owner, this book may be just the thing to help your children understand how taxing and difficult that journey can be.
I also think this book relates heavily to the ideas of determination and perseverance despite society mocking you and trying to beat you down. The peddler in this story is an example of what not to do, we shouldn’t just give up when we face adversity. Rather, we need to rise above, be patient, be strong in our convictions and continue doing what we feel is right. If you have an opinion, or have a dream or a desire to do something in the world, there will always be people fighting against you. It’s those that are strong that will prevail! This book will help you teach your children amazing lessons about:
Determination – Patience – Perseverance
We love including books like this about these topics, another book we love that is related is Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty.
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