Two interactive classics the whole family will love … again!

I admit it… sometimes the books my youngest boy loves  obsesses over  wants needs-to-read-every-night-again-and-again-and-again are not my favorite. There’s only so much Paw Patrol one girl can handle, amiright?

So I am always on the lookout for books he and I can both love. Better yet, books the entire family can love. Though we do like to do book time separately, the boys have been requesting to “sleepover” in each others’ rooms lately, and that means book time gets combined. And I can’t say that the extra time for grownup tv makes me tooooo upset.

A couple that we have always loved as a family also happen to be books my husband and I both loved as kids!

The first is The Monster at the end of this Book – by Jon Stone. I’m guessing it is one most people are familiar with, but just in case you aren’t, it is the BEST! It is one of the books I have the fondest memories of from my own childhood. I mean it lets you do the exact thing someone is asking you not to do! With your parents’ permission!!

The book stars Sesame Street’s lovable character, Grover, who hears that there is a monster at the end of the book, freaks out as Grover often does, and begs the kids not to turn any pages. The kids get to interact with the book, do the thing he is asking them not to, and show off their mega-page-turning-strength.


It is even better if you can do a Grover voice. As stated in this post containing an awesome book trailer, I am not always the best at voices, but because this is one my husband loved as a kid too, he loves to do it. And the boys love to listen to him!

The second book is maybe a little less known. Or maybe not. I do see it often in stores, and Amazon says it is “one of the most popular picture books ever published,” but I don’t know if everyone knows its genius??

It is called Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business and it is written by Esphyr Slobodkina. Again, it is a book that lets kids interact in such fun and memorable ways that both my husband and I remember loving it when we were young.

Kids love to play out emotions, and when the peddler gets angry at the monkeys for stealing his caps, we take every opportunity to get angry right along with him.


Sidenote: I’ve mentioned it before (see this post about another childhood favorite), but using older books is a great way to familiarize kids with the fact that the same item can have many different names. As a high school English teacher, I see more and more students who don’t grasp the idea that people from different time periods and different regions will refer to things differently. (They do a better job with different languages, but struggle when something is in English, but not the English they are used to.) The more students recognize this, the better prepared they will be for literature that will immerse them in very different cultures later in their education/life.

Anyway, back to this angry peddler. We have so much fun interacting with this book, shaking our fingers, shaking our fists, stomping our feet. We also make a little megaphone with our fist every time the peddler yells, “Caps, caps for sale, fifty cents a cap.” Both boys do every motion and every interactive line, and it couldn’t be more fun!

Apparently the classics are classics for a reason, at least these are for us. Do you have these books? Do you love them as much as we do? Do you have others you absolutely love and remember from your own childhood? I’d love to hear from you on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. See the icons at the right to follow if you don’t already!

Thanks for reading, and don’t miss the links to the sequels below!

The Monster at the end of this Book – by Jon Stone

Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business – by Esphyr Slobodkina

Also, both books have sequels! Here are the links in case you haven’t come across them yet.

Another Monster at the end of this Book  – by Jon Stone – this one stars Elmo, so it is great for a younger generation of Sesame Street fans.

More Caps for Sale – by Esphyr Slobodkina and Ann Marie Mulhearn Sayer  – We actually haven’t read this one. According to Amazon, it is apparently “the first posthumous book from Esphyr Slobodkina and is based on story ideas shared with Ann Marie Mulhearn Sayer throughout their years as friends and business associates prior to Esphyr’s death in 2002.” We have board books of all the titles mentioned in this post, and this one is scheduled to come out in board book format on March 20, 2018. If you have read it, let me know what you think!