They All Saw a Cat

they-all-saw-a-cat_fcTitle: They All Saw a Cat
Author/Illustrator: Brendan Wenzel
Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2016
Editor:  Ginee Seo
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 3 and up! (all ages should read it)
Themes: Perspective, Subjectivity

Opening Lines:
The cat walked through the world,  with its whiskers, ears, and paws …
and the child saw A CAT,
and the dog saw A CAT,
and the fox saw A CAT.
Yes, they all saw the cat.

Synopsis (from Amazon’s website):cat-eggs
In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat,
what do you see?


Why I Like This Book:
A gorgeous thoughtful book sure to become a modern classic. I love the dichotomy of taking simple picture book text paired with colorful child-appealing art to talk about a big, abstract, philosophical idea. Pure Genius!

The book follows a cat as he walks through the world and the reader gets to see how each of the other animals – a fox, dog, rat, fish – view the cat. What I find amazing about this book is that the big idea is not addressed anywhere in the text. It only exists in the reader’s mind as he/she is reading the text and looking at the pictures. It is something to be realized and felt inside.

A variety of materials were used to make the art: colored pencils, oil pastels, acrylics, watercolor, and more. The author used different styles to help show each animal’s unique perspective of the cat.

This is an important book, one that I hope will find its way onto every bookshelf.

Find They All Saw a Cat at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Goodreads
ISBN-10: 1452150133
ISBN-13: 978-1452150130

This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.

Disclosure: I received my copy of this book from the publisher. This review nevertheless reflects my own and honest opinion about the book.

No Responses to “They All Saw a Cat”

  1. Joanna

    Haha, I wrote my review for this yesterday but will schedule it for December. It is one of my favorite picture books of 2016.

  2. Diane Tulloch

    Yes like Patricia I thought this an interesting concept for a book. Must see if a local library will be getting it in. Will be great to use in classrooms. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Sue Heavenrich

    This looks like a fun book to read… simple but layered. On my reading list.

  4. Wendy

    This book is being heralded as a Caldecott winner! Definitely one that an author/illustrator had to do. Can’t imagine selling the text alone.

  5. Patty Cummings

    We should be teaching our kids that we all see things differently and no one is really wrong in that! I love the idea of it! I have my kids reading Cole’s Perfect Puppy, they needed some help with friendships and this one has been great for them, it’s by Frances Crossno,


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