Book Spotlight: They All Saw a Cat

Have you ever thought about how we can look at the same thing, and see it so, so differently? What shapes the way we see? Brendan Wenzel’s picture book They All Saw a Cat explores this concept through his beautiful, imaginative art paired with a very simple text. The cat takes a walk through the world “with its whiskers, ears, and paws,” and everyone sees the same whiskers, the same ears, the same cat, but we get to imagine how the cat might look to a bee…

or maybe a mouse, scared for its life…

We see the cat through the eyes of a fish in a fish bowl, the bird high above, and even the worms below the ground. The same cat is transformed through each new animal’s perspective, into a very different cat on each page.

The colorful vibrant art captivated Bonnie immediately, and the text was simple and repetitive enough that after I read the book just once, she wanted to “read” it herself, reciting it back page by page. This is a great book to work on observation skills: ask what is different about the cat on this page? Compare the colorful cat the snake sees, to the black and white cat the skunk sees on the very next page. You can talk about art, color, and symbolism – in three year old terms, of course – does the color red help us understand how this mouse is feeling? You can talk about the attributes of the animals in the book, and their relationships to each other – why is the mouse scared? Imagine what the world would look like if you could see with the compound eyes of an insect, or through the vibrations of the ground like a worm.

For a book that reads so simply, there is a lot here, and that is why I loved it! We picked up our copy of They All Saw a Cat at our library, but you can also find it on Amazon here.

Little Extras:

Check out an author interview here

Watch the Book Trailer here

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