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The Resource The underneath, Kathi Appelt ; illustrated by David Small

The underneath, Kathi Appelt ; illustrated by David Small

Label
The underneath
Title
The underneath
Statement of responsibility
Kathi Appelt ; illustrated by David Small
Creator
Contributor
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
An old hound that has been chained up at his hateful owner's run-down shack, and two kittens born underneath the house, endure separation, danger, and many other tribulations in their quest to be reunited and free
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • ALA Notable Children's Book, 2009
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2008
Review
  • Gr. 4-8 /*Starred Review*/ Appelt's impressive novel (her first) entails animals in crisis—a topic of enduring popularity. But the author, whose path from picture books to fantasy is discussed in the adjacent feature, breathes new life into the sentient-animals premise, introducing strong currents of magic realism into a tale as rich and complex as "the gumbo-like waters of the bayous." Chained and starved by cruel trapper Gar Face, lonely hound Ranger finds companions in a stray cat and her two kittens. When Mother Cat falls victim to Gar Face's abuse, the surviving animals, especially sensitive kitten Puck, struggle to keep their makeshift family together. The animals' caring, generous bonds juxtapose with the smothering love of an ancient shape-shifter in a moving parallel story. Joining Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting as a rare example of youth fantasy with strong American underpinnings, Appelt's novel folds in specific traditions of the Caddo peoples of east Texas, and casts the bayous as a kind of enchanted forest laden with spirits and benign, organic presences. Some readers may struggle with Appelt's repeated phrases and poetic fragments, and wish the connections and conflicts in the story came to a faster boil. But most children will be pulled forward by the vulnerable pets' survival adventure and by Small's occasional, down-to-earth drawings, created with fluid lines that are a perfect match for the book's saturated setting and Appelt's ebbing, flowing lyricism. -- Mattson, Jennifer (Reviewed 05-15-2008) (Booklist, vol 104, number 18, p54)
  • Gr 4–8— Appelt brings Southern Gothic to the middle grade set. Three separate but eventually entwined stories are told piecemeal. There is the tale of an abandoned, pregnant calico cat who finds shelter and friendship with the bloodhound, Ranger. He is the abused and neglected pet of Gar Face, a broken-jawed recluse who lives in the Texas bayou, where he fled 25 years previously to escape an abusive father. And finally there is the story of Grandmother Moccasin, a shape-shifting water snake who has lain dormant in a jar for a thousand years, buried beneath a loblolly pine tree. The threads are brought together when Puck, one of the newborn kittens, breaks the rule of straying from the safety of The Underneath, the sliver of space beneath Gar Face's porch where Ranger is chained and the cats live. The pace of this book is meandering, and there is a clear effort by the dominant third-person narrator to create a lyrical, ancient tone. However, the constant shift of focus from one story line to the next is distracting and often leads to lost threads. Small's black-and-white illustrations add a certain languid moodiness to the text. Themes of betrayal, hope, and love are reflected in the three stories, but this is a leisurely, often discouraging journey to what is ultimately an appropriate ending.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA --Kara Schaff Dean (Reviewed June 1, 2008) (School Library Journal, vol 54, issue 6, p134)
  • When fate separates them, an old hound dog and two foster kittens survive the dangers of the bayou to find one another. Seeking shelter, a homeless pregnant cat responds to the "bluesy" baying of a hound named Ranger who lives chained under the porch of a shack in the woods of the East Texas bayou. He happily shares the Underneath with the cat and her two kittens, Sabine and Puck. The kittens are safe from Ranger's evil master Gar Face as long as they remain hidden, but Puck ventures out "straight into the terrible hands of Gar Face," who does his best to drown both the curious kitten and his mother. Somehow Puck escapes after promising his dying mother he will find Sabine and free Ranger, but he's on his own in a bayou teeming with mysterious creatures. Aided by Small's lively illustrations, Appelt intricately weaves these animals' ancient stories into Puck's survival saga to produce a magical tale of betrayal, revenge, love and the importance of keeping promises. (Fiction. 8-12) (Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2008)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
264088
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1954-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Appelt, Kathi
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Intended audience
830L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
MG
LC call number
PZ7.A6455
LC item number
Un 2008
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 4
  • 8
Reading level
5.2
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorDate
1945-
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Small, David
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Dogs
  • Survival
  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Bayous
Target audience
juvenile
Label
The underneath, Kathi Appelt ; illustrated by David Small
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
670910
Dimensions
21 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
313 pages
Isbn
9781416950585
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Lccn
2007031969
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781416950585
  • (OCoLC)166386966
Label
The underneath, Kathi Appelt ; illustrated by David Small
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
670910
Dimensions
21 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
313 pages
Isbn
9781416950585
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Lccn
2007031969
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781416950585
  • (OCoLC)166386966

Library Locations

    • Cepeda BranchBorrow it
      651 N. Pleasant Valley Rd., Austin, TX, 78702, US
      30.2590471 -97.7088905
    • Howson BranchBorrow it
      2500 Exposition Blvd., Austin, TX, 78703, US
      30.2982508 -97.7675915
    • Milwood BranchBorrow it
      12500 Amherst Dr, Austin, TX, 78727, US
      30.4223444 -97.7161692
    • Spicewood Springs BranchBorrow it
      8637 Spicewood Springs Rd., Austin, TX, 78759, US
      30.4337083 -97.7730809
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