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We need to take a little pause in celebration today for one of my all time favorite Classic Children’s Book, Caps for Sale. It was one of the first books I learned to read on my own. I loved those pesky monkeys and all the mischief they got into in Caps for Sale.
Even more interesting is the story behind Caps for Sale is the story of Author/Illustrator Esphyr Slobodkina. In 1940 she was a young abstract artist on the rise to fame in New York City. Born in 1908 in a Siberian town called Chelyabinsk, Slobodkina grew up in Manchuria China and studied art there as well as Russia before immigrating to the U.S. in 1928.
She studied at the National Academy of Design in New York City and became a founding member of the American Abstract Artists group, which was formed in 1938 to promote an understanding of abstract and non-objective art.
So how does an abstract artist end up writing and illustrating on of the most famous books of all time? Slobodkina met Margaret Wise Brown who is famous in her own right for penning Goodnight Moon. At the time Margaret Wise Brown worked as a publisher for W.R. Scott. After seeing Slobodkina’s avant-garde portfolio which included her picture book Mary and the Poodies, Brown offered Slobodkina a publishing contract to publish Mary and the Poodies plus illustrate a book that Brown had authored called The Little Fireman.
With the encouragement of Margaret Wise Brown, Slobodkina went onto write and illustrate her own books. Caps for Sale was published in 1940 by W.R. Scott. It was Slobodkina’s third book published. In 1947 Harper & Brothers reissued Caps for Sale where it has been a constant title on most people’s books shelves selling millions of copies in the U.S. alone and translated into 6 languages as well as winning many awards.
In all, Esphyr Slobodkina authored and illustrated 22 books. Her book Caps for Sale is a vivid memory from my childhood and still sits on the shelf with all of the other I Can Read books that my grandmother purchased for me. Now 75 years later we are still reading and laughing over the funny man with all the hats and the silly monkeys who tortured him with their antics.
Happy Birthday Caps for Sale! Wishing you many readers to turn your pages.
Something To Do
The wonderful thing about Caps for Sale is that it lends itself to many fun adventures and activities. Here are a few for you to enjoy.
One of my all time favorite play moments with Caps for Sale came from my friends over at WeeFolkArt. You and the kids will have hours of fun with this peg characters, felt hats, and Tree. It will bring this book to life over and over again. Just love this. You can find all the inspirational moments right here.
Have a look at the Caps for Sale Pinterest Page. This page is designed for First and Second Grade
Here are some adorable printables to play and learn with.
To learn more about author/illustrator Esphyr Slobodkina head over to the Slobodkina Foundation. I know you’ll have a very wonderful and enchanted time visiting her studio, her artworks, and her very diverse style of art and writing. She was an amazing woman and I hope you’ll be inspired to get to know her work a little bit better.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2016 is COMING (1/27/16) and we have many things to be grateful for here at MCCBD headquarters. There are a ton of exciting things in the works right now!
Need to get a multicultural children’s book in front of readers? Participate in this national event as an Author Sponsor and get enjoy many unique ways to gain visibility for your books. Those who lock in their Author Sponsorship before October 31st will get a bonus; 2 guest posts on MCCBD blog, banner ad on the Author Sponsor Page, social media shares and book review opportunities by book bloggers. A great value for only $65. Go HERE for more details.
Would you rather review a new multicultural children’s book on your blog or website? Our Book Review Blogger Sign-Up for MCCBD 2016 just started as well! We’ll give you a FREE multicultural children’s book so you can post on your blog on January 27th and then join our huge Linky Party as well.
Connect with us!
– Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MulticulturalChildrensBookDay
– Twitter https://twitter.com/MCChildsBookDay
-Reminder: The hashtag for this event is #ReadYourWorld