Title: Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business
Author and Illustrator: Esphyr Slobodkina
Year: 2008 (new edition)
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 3.1
Concepts: goods, buyers and sellers, demand and supply
Review: Years ago, a unique peddler stood out from other salespeople because he carried all his goods on top of his head. He neatly stacked a bunch of gray, brown, blue, and red caps in a single pile and carefully balanced them on his head as he walked through town, calling “Caps! Caps for Sale! Fifty cents a cap!” But alas, on this particular day, no one purchases a cap. With no money to buy lunch, the peddler opts for a walk and a nap in the countryside instead. His troubles multiply when he wakes up to the sight of a group of playful monkeys in the treetop, each wearing one of his caps for sale. How will he get the caps back?
This classic story, reissued in a new hardcover edition, does not grow old with its humor, ingenuity, and charm. Underlying the story is an important set of economics concepts related to buyers and sellers in the goods market. If the demand for caps had been a little stronger, the peddler may have been able to avoid this whole predicament, but therein lies the book’s merriment. Caps for Sale gets top marks for delivering a story with substantive content that children will enjoy and remember.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children