The Underneath

Written by Kathi Appelt, with drawings by David Small

A thousand years ago a snake was imprisoned in a jar. In the bayou, a tree grew around it, and the snake’s hate grew. Twenty-five years ago lightning struck but did not fell the tree. A drunken father struck and disfigured his son, who ran away and began a life nurtured by hate. Today, a calico cat finds refuge under the man’s porch, befriended by his abused hound. Kathi Appelt’s first novel defies categorizing. She transports the reader back a thousand years to begin the snake’s story and interweaves today’s tale of an angry, hate-filled man; an abused but loyal hound; and a calico cat and her kittens, making the magic real.


ISBN 10: 1416950583

ISBN 13: 978-1416950585