Yodelayheehoo! (The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip)
Lane Smith (of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and many others) is one of my all-time favorite illustrators, and I’ve got a growing collection of his books (mostly the result of foraging in bargain bins!).
I’d been eyeing the book The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders (illustrated by Lane Smith) at a specialty bookstore for ages. Earlier this year, I finally scored a copy at one of the book store sales for only P59!
The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip is an illustrated fable about the goatherding village of Frip, a three-family community (made of the Romos, the Romsens, and a girl named Capable with her widowed dad) living on a seaside cliff, which faces a serious gapper infestation.
The creepy gappers are small orange burr-like creatures with many eyes that stick to goats and prevent them from giving milk. Every day, the children of Frip had to brush dozens gappers off their goats eight times over, gather them in a sack, and dump them off the cliff into the sea. And every night, the very persistent gappers would edge their way up the cliffs, back into the goatyards, and onto the poor goats.
Life is a routine for the citizens of Frip, especially for the overworked children, until the very persistent gappers make up their minds to concentrate their infestation efforts on the goats closest to the cliff — Capable’s herd. Capable turns to her neighbors to help her stop the gapper infestation, and Frip is never the same again.
I liked the simplicity of the story, which makes it enjoyable on different levels, delivering on the promise it makes on the dust jacket: an “adult story for children, a children’s story for adults.” On the one hand it’s an outlandish and funny story about determination and community spirit, and on the other it’s a thought-provoking commentary on social classes and the struggle between the haves and the have-nots.
The deadpan narration and dialogue is hilarious, creating a fun and non-cutesy fairy tale for the modern audience. Capable is a feisty heroine, one of the most endearing I’ve ever come across, and certainly very memorable.
Lane Smith’s whimsical, mixed media illustrations are lush and evocative, complementing the story perfectly. The palette is more muted than Smith’s other children’s books — the trademark browns are more on the fawn shades than the usual ochres, and very limited yellows – and the illustrations less [in-your-face] cheeky (although still sufficiently cheeky!), leaning towards surrealism. The quiet beauty of the illustrations is breathtaking and captures the mood of the story, adding subtle nuances to the themes Saunders lays down.
It’s a wonderful book to add to my Lane Smith collection, and an awesome read for the week!
My copy: hardcover, missing dust jacket
My rating: 5/5 stars
*book photos from Amazon, footer from Lane Smith’s website
|Print article||This entry was posted by Sumthinblue on 20 November, 2009 at 3:55 pm, and is filed under Bargain Books, Book Reviews. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
No comments yet.
No trackbacks yet.
about 3 months ago - 2 comments
I realize I’ve read a lot of Lemony Snicket in the last few months, without really meaning to. I must confess that I was not a fan of A Series of Unfortunate Events (although I loved the movie), so I didn’t feel compelled to read more than the first few books. This Lemony Snicket…
about 1 year ago - No comments
I thought I’d break this blogging fast with a nice roundup, featuring books by the prolific, award-winning author-illustrator David Macaulay! I discovered David Macaulay back in college, when my illustration teacher showed us the Caldecott-winning Cathedral (which I read along with Pillars of the Earth), and I filed him away in my mental book…
about 1 year ago - 1 comment
Philippine children’s illustrators group Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK) is currently open for new members! To apply for membership, just email all requirements (see below) to email@example.com Deadline on February 29, 2012, 5pm Requirements: 1.) Accomplished application form: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0BxLm2kIWpJrpMWQyNmU3NWEtODAyYy00ZWVmLTk0YmUtMzEwNzk4ZjI4YzQx&hl=ja 2.) 1 illustration based on the story “Anong Gupit Natin Ngayon” http://www.pbby.org.ph/downloads/pbby_anong-gupit-natin-ngayon_2011.pdf 3.) 5 sample…
about 1 year ago - 2 comments
Children’s illustrators’ group Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK) celebrates 20 years of Philippine Children’s Book Illustration with “20 Taon,” an exhibit at Ayala Museum, which opens tomorrow night and runs until Jan 15. Here’s the official announcement from Ang INK: Many of the illustrations in “20 Taon” are from bestselling books from major Philippine…
about 1 year ago - 36 comments
Got a lovely surprise delivered to the office yesterday! Ta da da dum… Ta da da dum…. It’s heeeeeere! Forgive the shameless plug, it’s not everyday I get a book released! :) Ang Pag-ibig ni Maryang Sinukuan is a book in the latest set of Anvil Publishing’s Lola Basyang series, stories written by Severino…
about 2 years ago - No comments
Back in December, the Filipino book bloggers met up with Marianne Villanueva, who is one of the most delightful authors I’ve ever had the chance to meet. I got a signed copy of her book, The Lost Language: Stories (and in nice paper, too!) and I finally got to read it earlier this year. If…
about 2 years ago - 10 comments
When I was in third grade, our class was sent to the audio-visual room for a storytelling session of the picture book Juan and the Asuangs. The story was frightfully fascinating — a young boy named Juan outsmarts several asuangs, which are Philippine mythical creatures, often of the blood-sucking variety. I have not seen that…
about 2 years ago - 7 comments
This is our book club, Flips Flipping Pages, as caricatured by my good friend (and surrogate book club big sister) Ajie Taduran (see, I told you my friends are brilliant!) after one of our book discussions last year. Can you find me in the cartoon? And this is me, drawn by Ajie because I got…
about 2 years ago - 10 comments
September 25 to October 2 is Banned Books Week, an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read. Spearheaded by the American Library Association, the celebration of Banned Books Week emphasizes intellectual freedom, “the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular.” Growing up…
about 2 years ago - 4 comments
I like good, strong voices in fiction. I like characters that ring true, make a distinct impression, and keep me engaged in the story. In the past week, I read The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides and The Lacemaker and the Princess by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley. These two novels each offered a unique point of view:…