A fairy tale for mature audiences Don't be deceived by a quick glance at The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip. This may appear to be just another charming children's book, but a clever subtlety and thought-provoking story lurk within. Growing up, I laughed at the same jokes my parents did when watching television shows like Rocky and Bullwinkle or, later, The Simpsons. As an adult, I understood why they were laughing, and the jokes became much funnier. In other words, while children will enjoy The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, only adults will fully appreciate it. Short-story writer George Saunders and illustrator Lane Smith (The Stinky Cheese Man) have created a beautiful mix of story and art. Their tale is set in Frip, a fictional seaside town plagued by persistent gappers pests who crawl from the ocean at night to suck on sheep. The story examines how the town's three families deal with this unique challenge. For the most part, they handle it by forcing their children to work all day plucking gappers, though it's really not that simple. Right below the surface are issues like parental responsibility, abandonment, and the absence of a social safety net, to name a few examples. As you turn the pages, you'll discover the real magic of the book: characters that make you smile, because you know someone exactly like these fascinating residents of Frip.

Andrew Lis

comments powered by Disqus