cover image Fifty Red Nightcaps

Fifty Red Nightcaps

Chronicle Books, Inga Moore. Chronicle Books, $12.95 (28pp) ISBN 978-0-87701-520-8

Nico, a boy, sets off to market to sell his Nan's 50 red, handmade nightcaps. Tired, he falls asleep on the forest floor. A band of mischievous and pesky monkeys steals his caps. Nico is at a loss to recover them. He throws fruit at the monkeys, they throw fruit back. Not until he pulls off his cap and throws it to the groundand the monkeys imitate himdoes Nico get back his caps and complete his journey to market. Unfortunately Moore's retelling is a rather dry narrative, quite unlike the rhythmic and pleasingly repetitive text of Esphyr Slobodkina's Caps for Sale. The bright pastel illustrations are more successful: the monkeys are soft, furry and funny, and Nico is pleasantly boyish. However, Slobodkina's interpretation remains the definitive retelling. Ages 2-6. (Oct.)