They All Saw a Cat

by Brendan Wenzel

“The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws …... read more

“The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws … ” This lyrical phrase, repeated several times over the course of a clever and distinctive picture book, introduces a number of different animals that observe the cat on its travels. Each page spread visualizes what the cat looks like from a different creature’s point of view. A goldfish sees the cat as two huge, luminous eyes distorted through a curved bowl. A mouse sees a terror of teeth and claws. A bee sees pixel-like dots of color. A worm underground sees a cat-shaped heat signature. A skunk sees the cat up close, in black and white. A bat sees a shape of spotted light. A bird gets an overhead, distant view. But no matter who it is, “The cat knew them all and they all knew the cat.” The perception of 12 different animals, one a human child, is offered without additional descriptive commentary or explanation, other than naming the observer. There is much to consider and discuss in a work that playfully interprets science, perspective, and emotion to serve an artful, whimsical end. (Ages 4–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2017

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