Friday, January 7, 2011

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

From the day I started Ryan's library, I searched high and low for this book. I suppose I could have ordered a copy online but I wasn't in a hurry as Ryan was still just a few months old. I finally found a copy in a small children's bookstore in Balmoral Beach in Sydney in September 2009 (and even there they had only one copy). When I got back, I did see a copy in Borders Singapore - don't you always find the thing you were looking for once you are no longer looking for it? - but generally I don't see it often in the stores, which is a great pity because it is a wonderful book. It has become a firm favourite in Ryan's library.

First published in 1940, the tale of the cap peddlar has become a classic. Unable to sell any caps, the peddlar decides to take a nap under a tree. He wakes to find that all his merchandise is gone, stolen by monkeys in the tree. He manages to get his caps back, but only by a fluke. 

I can see us going back to this book time after time, year after year, as there are lots of little things that Ryan can learn from it - colours, emotions, positions (left, right, behind, up), etc. We read the story to Ryan with lots of expression and actions, and he plays right along, making the actions as well - shaking his finger, shaking his hands, stamping his feet.  

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