Caps for Sale and the Mindful Monkeys

illus. by Esphyr Slobodkina & Ann Marie Mulhearn Sayer. 48p. HarperCollins/Harper. Aug. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062499882.
PreS-Gr 1—In this companion piece to the beloved Caps for Sale, the mischievous monkeys return to teach the peddler an important lesson about the value of mindfulness. This time the monkeys use their knack for mimicry to help, rather than hinder, the peddler's work. Irritated by the monkeys' habit of following him around, the peddler turns to his friend Essie—a character modeled after Slobodkina herself—who suggests that they may prove to be his friends. True to Essie's word, one day the peddler doesn't have time to make caps, and the monkeys spend all night copying his movements to prepare the caps themselves. The striking, abstract, folk-style images of the monkeys, the caps, the peddler, and even the white tree will be familiar to fans of Caps for Sale. Rhythmic text, repetitive phrases, and predictive questions will engage young readers, and older fans of Slobodkina's work will enjoy the back matter, which offers a history of the book's creation and its connection to the classic tale.
VERDICT This title does not have quite the streamlined plot and wit of its predecessor, but enough of the genius of Caps for Sale shines through to make it a treat for children and adults who want to reunite with the peddler and his naughty monkeys for a new adventure. Purchase where the classic is popular.

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