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28 February 2008 @ 11:57 am
What a Texas treasure  

I have always loved Kathi Appelt. Her books, too. And this one, well, it just is one of those perfect books: joy, sorrow, fear, longing, absolution, mystery, magic, and CATS. Sabine and Puck are born in The Underneath. Their mother, a beautiful calico cat left abandoned on the side of the road, found this shelter one night when she followed the baying of the hound known as Ranger. Sabine and Puck live under the sagging and rotting porch with Ranger and their mother. They are warned never to leave The Underneath. Exposure risks discovery by Gar Face, the horrid man who keeps Ranger chained and forgets to feed him most of the time. But one day the sun beckons and Puck cannot resist. When his mother comes to rescue him, the two of them are snatched by Gar Face who throws them into a burlap bag and heads to the waters of the bayou.

But this is more than a story of a family of cats and an old bloodhound. There is the sinister Grandmother, locked for so many years inside a clay pot and buried in the tree roots. Don't forget the ancient alligator now grown to enormous size who trawls the waters Gar Face knows well. And the hummingbird, harbinger of transition. Appelt has crafted a story that is mystical, eternal, and unforgettable. Her prose sings, echoing the songs of Ranger, of Night Song, of the forest inhabitants.

Thanks, Kathi, for making a reader feel the strength of the ancient magic and the pull of magical words.
Current Mood: fullfull
lizgallagherlizgallagher on February 28th, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
Once again, you've alerted me to a book by one of the Vermont faculty that I was waiting for and didn't know was finally around! Thanks!

professornanaprofessornana on February 28th, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)

I received teh ARC last week. The book is due in May
lizgallagherlizgallagher on February 29th, 2008 12:05 am (UTC)
K, thanks. Good to know. I have vivid memories of Kathi reading from this one. Normally a story about cats wouldn't stick with me (I am majorly allergic and therefore unfortunately averse) (as I appear to be also averse to commas in this post) but it was sooooooo scary and sweet.
steach57 on March 9th, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
Recommended readers?
Would you recommend this book for 4th and 5th grade readers? My PreK - 2nd graders loved her BUBBA AND BEAU books, so I am anxious to bring the same reading enjoyment to my older students.
professornana: chutzpah catprofessornana on March 10th, 2008 01:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Recommended readers?
Absolutely. I think this is a perfect book for this age range.