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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Caps for Sale

Yesterday we met the two-month-old son of some friends, and as usual, we brought books as a gift. One of them was the board book version of Esphyr Slobodkina's 1940 classic Caps For Sale. Our friends did not know of the book, but the three-year-old big brother quickly made it a family favorite. "Read it again," he told me - three times. 

I read this book again and again and again when our sons were young, and I found it was still committed to memory. The board book text is slightly altered from the original. Some of my favorite parts were omitted, and I found myself ready to say the non-existent phrases, like "But nobody wanted any caps that morning. Nobody wanted even a red cap." My young friend, however, was more concerned about the cap colors. The original text reads like this:

"First he had on his own checked cap, then a bunch of gray caps, then a bunch of brown caps, then a bunch of blue caps, and on the very top a bunch of red caps."

Because of the color reproduction, there doesn't appear to be any brown caps on the page, only goldish-yellow caps. So, he would add, "And a bunch of yellow caps." When I got home, I checked our copy of the book, and the caps are a cross between brown and tan, certainly not yellow.


  1. The kids & I loved this book when I did story times at the library! With the abundance of so many new picture books, I love that some of the older classics still enrich children's lives! What is it the monkeys say? Tsz, tsz, tsz! PS Love the bright little knit caps!

  2. You're right, Rita. The monkeys say, Tsz, tsz, tsz! I have been knitting the caps to give to new babies when we give the book :)

  3. Are you familiar with "Kiki's Hats?" It's a delightful book, and the "real Kiki" is a former colleague of mine, a Spanish teacher. Granddaughter has a few of Kiki's hats, too.!!