Do you love thy neighbor?  Even when times are tough?

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, written by George Saunders and Illustrated by Lane Smith, asks that question. This beautifully told and illustrated story is one of the most memorable, magical, and important children's books I've read over the past 15 years. First released in 2000, it was reissued with a new cover in 2015. 

The story sweeps the reader away to an imaginary seaside town named Frip where the economy depends on the sale of goat's milk. Three families live in Frip: The Romos, Ronsens, and a father-daughter duo featuring a brave and memorable young girl named Capable.  

Unfortunately for Capable and the other children featured in this story, there are Gappers in Frip.  

Ever had a burr in your sock? 
A Gapper's like that, only bigger.

Gappers are many-eyed orange creatures the size of soft balls. Gappers love to attach themselves to goats, and when they do, the goats stop producing milk. The children of Frip have the impossible task of brushing gappers off goats. They collect them in bags and throw them off a cliff into the sea... but somehow the gappers always seem to return. Though gappers may not be a very intelligent lot, they are persistent!  

In the past, the gappers have always gone after each family's goats in equal measure... until one day they choose to focus solely on little Capable's goats. She is left to face the gappers alone, pulling them off her family's goats to the point of exhaustion. Do her neighbors step in to help?  Or do they wash their hands of gappers and count their blessings?

Get ready to fall in love with Capable!

Ages: 8 and up (grades 3 and up)
Pages: 84