17 June 2009

(Two Little) Book Reviews


(*Spoiler at the end of this review)

I just read The Underneath a few weeks ago, by Kathi Appelt. The book has a very lyrical style, and I found it slightly distracting at first, then endearing. After awhile I didn't notice it anymore. It would be fun to read aloud to kids if I had a southern accent. The story details a friendship between a dog, a cat, and her two kittens. The plot converges with another story of an ancient magical native american family. I really enjoyed the themes of the book, which included friendship, betrayal, redemption, and the sublime. I would recommend the book to anyone who likes books where animals are the main characters. I generally don't enjoy such books, but this one was charming enough to hold my attention.

Spoiler: I thought the dog should have died in the end. I would have had more respect for the author for some inexplicable reason. It's like she didn't have the guts or heart to let him go. If I ever write my great novel, all the dogs will die. (Just kidding Mom—I really love dogs. Really I do.)

This is not an actual novel. In fact, it is just one from the occasional piles of children's princess-whatever I bring home from the library for Grace. But this one stood out. I enjoyed learning that Cinderella actually had an interest in veterinary science (hence her animal-speaking skills), and the Prince was wearing a "Save the Whales" pin, and asked her to dance because she was admiring the animal portraiture in the palace. He wanted to be a veterinarian, too, of course. This book made the classic love story so much more real and meaningful for me. I feel much closer to Cindy now.

To further recommend the book, if you turn the book over and upside down, you can read Lady Tremaine's side of the story. Compelling stuff!

3 comments:

The Lemmon's said...

I read "The Underneath" a few weeks ago, too. I agree with your review. It took a little bit to get into, but I stuck with it and thought it was a decent story.

whirligigdaisy said...

I loved "The Underneath." I thought the writing was so, so beautiful.

angela michelle said...

I'm kind of new to brining home various princess books (I'm better at bringing home books on trolls, dragons, and other fantastical or gory creatures). I guess I'm glad they're trying to give the princesses some substance with all these new plot lines--but still...