The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

Book - 2015
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From the bestselling author of Tenth of December comes a splendid new edition of his acclaimed collaboration with the illustrator behind The Stinky Cheese Man and James and the Giant Peach ! Featuring fifty-two haunting and hilarious images, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip is a modern fable for people of all ages that touches on the power of kindness, generosity, compassion, and community.

In the seaside village of Frip live three families: the Romos, the Ronsens, and a little girl named Capable and her father. The economy of Frip is based solely on goat's milk, and this is a problem because the village is plagued by gappers: bright orange, many-eyed creatures the size of softballs that love to attach themselves to goats. When a gapper gets near a goat, it lets out a high-pitched shriek of joy that puts the goats off giving milk, which means that every few hours the children of Frip have to go outside, brush the gappers off their goats, and toss them into the sea. The gappers have always been everyone's problem, until one day they get a little smarter, and instead of spreading out, they gang up: on Capable's goats. Free at last of the tyranny of the gappers, will her neighbors rally to help her? Or will they turn their backs, forcing Capable to bear the misfortune alone?

Featuring fifty-two haunting and hilarious illustrations by Lane Smith and a brilliant story by George Saunders that explores universal themes of community and kindness, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip is a rich and resonant story for those that have all and those that have not.

Praise for The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

"In a perfect world, every child would own a copy of this profound, funny fable. . . . Every adult would own a copy too, and would marvel at how this smart, subversive little book is even deeper and more hilarious than any child could know." -- Entertainment Weekly

"Saunders's idiosyncratic voice makes an almost perfect accompaniment to children's book illustrator Smith's heightened characterizations and slightly surreal backdrops." --Publishers Weekly

"A riveting, funny, and sly new fairy tale." -- Miami Herald
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2015], c2000
ISBN: 9780812989632
Branch Call Number: SAU
Characteristics: 82 p. :,col. ill. ;,25 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Lane


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JCLIanH Aug 13, 2019

A very neat little fable from George Saunders, who, the more I read, feels like he is bearing Kurt Vonnegut's torch. Which is to say his stories are all deeply humanistic and buried beneath the humor and the masterful storytelling are true life lessons. The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip is a timeless look at how our myopic concerns for our own business neglects concerns for the community, which only leads to everyone being devoured. The story is an apt metaphor for a number of societal ills (classism and income inequality, climate change, take your pick), and that it's marketed as a kids book half the time makes it all the better.

Nov 21, 2018

George Saunders has a very unique, witty style. A great piece of work here. A fable like tale for children and adults with great illustrations.

Apr 11, 2016

Dreadfully cynical tale skewers misguided religious attitudes. The rest is camouflage.

Jul 31, 2012

I read this aloud to my kids over the course of a couple nights. It was an odd and very compelling story with a message that might strike home more for adults than for kids, but still, a very worthwhile read. I felt like parts of the message got stretched a bit thin (like the daughters who stood still in order to look pretty so that boys would like them) but overall I really enjoyed this book and am glad I stumbled across it.

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