Because, when 10 year old Keeper came into the kitchen and saw the pot of crabs waiting to be put into the gumbo, she swore she heard those crabs call out to her to save them. She could hear them because she knew her mother was part mermaid. Keeper did save the crabs, shuttling them to the pond using Signes pot, the only souvenir she had from her mother, her favorite pot. But BD, Keepers Best Dog, saw Sinbad and ran across the road to Mr. Beauchamps, tripping Keeper who dropped the pot, which broke. And in the animal melee the pots in which Mr. Beauchamp kept his flowers, his roses and night-blooming cyruses, were broken. And when Keeper went to tell Dogie that she freed the crabs he so laboriously caught, the ones he woke up at the crack of dawn to catch, his ukulele became another animal casualty, crushed.
So, there was no gumbo and no night-blooming cyruses and no two word song and no perfect once in a blue moon night. All because of the CRABS!!!!
Keeper is a marvelously told tale about a 10 year old girl who learns what family and love are all about. Appelts lovely use of words, her descriptive phrases, her poetic tone will make you want to read from start to finish, without putting the book down. Appelt has filled Keeper with wonderful characters: Dogie and Signe, Mr. Beauchamp and most of all, BD and Sinbad and Too (Dogies dog) and Captain (the seagull who crashed into Keepers kitchen window and became best friends with BD). It has mermaids and manatees and stingrays. The animals are smarter than the humans in this heartwarming story. It has adventure. And it has home.
Keeper is a story for children of all ages. It might even be a book youll read more than once. But youll have to read it once in order to read it a second time. Theres no time like the present to start Keeper.