More Caps for Sale

Since Esphyr Slobodkina’s Caps for Sale was first published in 1940, millions of children have savored the original tale of the Peddler, his caps, and a band of very funny monkeys. Now More Caps for Sale continues the story, picking up right where Caps for Sale left off.

After performances of Caps for Sale in libraries and school auditoriums, Ann Marie Mulhearn Sayer and Esphyr Slobodkina (who accompanied Sayer from time to time) often discussed audience queries about what happened to the Peddler and the monkeys after his caps were retrieved.

The two associates entertained possible scenarios. But Slobodkina (in her 80s) was busy lecturing, painting and working with assemblage art. Although she fiddled with storybook text plots, she did not take time to do additional drawings.

More Caps for Sale is the first posthumous book from Esphyr Slobodkina and is based on story ideas shared with Ann Marie Mulhearn Sayer throughout their seven years as friends and business associates prior to Esphyr's death in 2002.

In 2013 Sayer realized that using a computer program, she could take all of Slobodkina’s drawings from her many children’s books and make new pictures. Just like the collage technique Slobodkina used for Caps for Sale, Sayer would use collage technique only this time on a computer.

The Caps for Sale book series is based on story ideas from Slobodkina’s and Sayer’s imagination. The theme of More Caps for Sale is not only a continuation of Caps for Sale, but also taken from other Slobodkina’s children’s books such as Mary & The Poodies, (unpublished). In Mary & The Poodies, Mary learns good behavior by mimicking her imaginary friends “the Poodies.” In More Caps for Sale the monkeys learn good behavior, too.

And by the way, every tree, chair, lamp, building, cap and, of course, monkey, was produced using Slobodkina‘s original art.

By way of example, although most of the images were scanned from Caps for Sale illustrations, the Peddler’s bed and some of the people were extracted from Circus Caps for Sale, the house from Jack and Jim, furniture from Moving Day for the Middleman’s, and the banana from Slobodkina’s oil painting Still Life with Fruit.


In Caps for Sale, the Peddler woke up from an afternoon nap to discover a tree full of monkeys all wearing his caps. Well, he got his caps back, but the story doesn’t end there!

When More Caps for Sale begins, it is later that same day and the Peddler starts his walk home. He does not look back. He does not notice monkeys following him. Right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot. All in step. Now they are sitting in the tree in the peddler’s backyard. Oh, those monkeys!

Reading More Caps for Sale
Play Video

Click on the video to hear co-author Ann Marie read "More Caps for Sale" (with animation).



How often does a sequel pick up exactly where its predecessor left off - 75 years later? Sayer, who worked for years as Slobodkina's assistant, uses scanned and manipulated images from the classic Too Many Caps and the late author's other work to fashion illustrations that are impressively faithful to those of the previous book. The text, too, retains its predecessor's folktale-style prose. The peddler still carries his caps on his head ("First he had on his own checked cap, then a bunch of gray caps..."), and the monkeys still copy everything he does.

Where Too Many Caps was a story of saucy fun, Sayer sees in the monkeys' mimicry the opportunity to set a good example.

First the monkeys learn to throw their banana peels into the trash barrel by copying the peddler; then they redeem themselves the next day by following him into the city and mimicking his cap-selling routine: "When the peddler bowed, the monkeys bowed, too. Everyone was smiling to see such a sight." Success! The peddler sells all his caps—none the wiser about the help he's had. Though it ends a bit abruptly, it's a worthy successor to Slobodkina's original. Ages 4–8. (Oct.2015)

The Peddler

Lesson Plans for More Caps for Sale


PK-04 - Recall and Retell
This lesson is easily modified to allow students to recall and retell the parts of the story they enjoyed.

PK-05 - Identifying Items
This lesson can be increased in complexity to include more advanced vocabulary, position words, adjectives, and comparative phrases.

PK-06 - Monkey Emotions
This lesson can be increased in complexity to include more advanced vocabulary, adjectives, and different images.


K-04 - Introducing Sequels
This can be done as a pre-reading activity for the subsequent books in the series once Caps for Sale has been read.

K-05 - Words I Don't Know
This lesson can be increased in complexity by using different pages from the book that contain more advanced sentence structure and vocabulary.

First Grade

GR1-04 - Create Your Own Monkey Friend
This lesson is designed for students to express themselves artistically and describe their work in writing.

GR1-05 - Write a Story about Your Monkey Friend
This lesson is designed for students to expand on their artistic creations from the previous lessons.

Second Grade

GR2-03 - Pezzo's Caps - Opinion Writing
Includes optional organizer with sentence starters for organizing thoughts before writing a more complex paragraph.

GR2-04 - Diary Entry
For this lesson, students can get in the mindset of a character depicted in the book or they can imagine they are their second-grade self transported to that world.