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Gappers are baseball-sized, burr-shaped orange creatures with a compulsion to creep up out of the sea and fasten themselves to goats, whom they love. "When a gapper gets near a goat it gives off a continual high-pitched happy shriek of pleasure that makes it impossible for the goat to sleep, and the goats get skinny and stop giving milk," writes Saunders. Since Frip survives by selling goat milk, the children must brush gappers off the herd eight times daily and dump them into the ocean. You simply must see Smith's picture of Capable, the book's plucky heroine, emptying her gapper-sack from a precarious cliff picturesquely menaced by subtly colored waves. You'll be torn between lingering over the gorgeous artwork and flipping the page to see how Capable will ever cope with the gapper invasion of Frip, her obdurately past-obsessed widower papa, and her dumb, mean neighbors (two snooty, boy-obsessed girls and a family of singers who are harder on the ears than a keening gapper attached to the goat of its dreams). This is a slim tale, but unquestionably one quite in keeping with Saunders's prizewinning books. The title story of Pastoralia, for instance, is also a fable involving class struggle and people who get snooty about the difficulties of working with goats.
The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip is a grownups' book, a kids' book, an art book, and a cause for countless happy shrieks of pleasure. --Tim Appelo
help make sure your kids have a great sense of humor by starting them on Saunders earlyPublished 5 months ago by tcookc
One of my favorite children's books. It's simply too charming, and Lane Smith's illustrations are utterly perfect for the absurdity of the story. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Catherine Adler-Josem
this is wonderful short reading! I have read his other works, as I am fond of short stories, and this one is as good as his more recent writing. - JSPublished 17 months ago by Gonzalo J. Sadia
My 6 and 8 year old grandkids made me read this 20 times they liked it so much. They were fascinated by how totally weird it was.Published 20 months ago by Lynn Ochberg
This was a really fun, light read. I think it's funny and simple enough for children to enjoy, but there is also just enough substance for adults to be entertained as well. Read morePublished on September 10, 2013 by Angela Roquet
I am waiting for Tim Burton to stumble upon this book and do a movie from it; it's SCREAMING for his touch. Read morePublished on July 21, 2013 by Maria
so i bought the children's book - pretty good - not really into the illustration so much - maybe i'll have a kid to try the book out onPublished on May 21, 2013 by james gomez