Sunday, February 17, 2013

Monkey Books

"What are you doing, Monkey!?

Those are words heard at least once a day by Mabel Watson Payne. And I like to think she is partly called Monkey because of  what seemed (at least to me) to be the first book that became a noticeable  favorite book of Mabel's own choosing, early in her reading life. It was Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkin – (as illustrated immediately above) – first published in 1938.

Thinking about the monkeys in Caps for Sale led me (by a roundabout route) into looking for representations of monkeys on book covers. They are more numerous than I ever imagined. I am reproducing only a tiny sample here.