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They All Saw A Cat: Bernard Wenzel

Book: They All Saw A Cat
Author: Bernard Wenzel
Pages: 44
Age Range: 3-6

TheyAllSawACatThey All Saw A Cat is a new picture book by Bernard Wenzel that explores perception. Basically, each page spread shows the same cat, as "The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws...". The cat looks different each time, however, depending on who is observing him. To a child, the cat is wide-eyed and cuddly. To a fox, the cat looks like soft, defenseless prey. To a mouse, the cat looks like a terrifying monster with prominent teeth and claws. In the end, the cat sees itself reflected in water. 

There's not much text to They All Saw A Cat. Lots of "and the bird saw A CAT", etc. But Wenzel's use of italics and capitalization helps to ensure that They All Saw A Cat is a fun book for read-aloud. It is repetitive enough to work as a bedtime books, and the text is simple enough that this book could also work for new readers. 

But They All Saw A Cat is really about the illustrations, which "were rendered in almost everything imaginable, including colored pencil, oil, pastels, acrylic, paint, watercolor, charcoal, Magic Marker, good old number 2 pencils, and even an iBook." Every page is different, to match the tone of how that animal (or person) views the cat. Some images are relatively straightforward, while others include more creative renderings. The bat, for instance, sees the cat as a series of white dots against a black background, which together take the shape of a cat. This page is somewhat reminiscent of a constellation. A late page that morphs the various cat images into one is a visual celebration, sure to make young kids laugh. 

They All Saw A Cat is a visually engaging, read-aloud-friendly picture book that reminded me a bit of Eric Carle's Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? It would make a nice gift for a preschooler, as well as a nice over-sized board book (someday...). It will make kids think. Recommended!

Publisher: Chronicle Books (@ChronicleKids
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2016 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).