They All Saw a Cat / written and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel. 10.10.2017

Chronicle Books ISBN 9781452150130

PRI PS-Grade 3 Rating: *5

A child and assorted animals show their individual perspectives in They All Saw a Cat, a Caldecott Honor Book written and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel.

As a brown and tan cat wanders “through the world” it is viewed by a young boy and 11 different animals, each seeing the cat in a distinct way. For example, the boy sees a pet, the fox sees prey, the fish (through its bowl) sees a blurry pair of eyes, the mouse sees a giant monster, and the flea sees a mass of cat hair.

With simple rhyming and use of repetitive phrasing, They All Saw a Cat entertains with a lively, playful tone. Author/illustrator Brendan Wenzel delivers a wonderful amalgam of color, drama, and humor with each turn of the page. His drawings are a creative mix of paints, pastels, pencils, and digital art that yield a bounty of scenes from pastoral to bold. Even the inside cover pages are imaginatively conceived.

They All Saw a Cat shows that we all see the world through different eyes. At the conclusion of the book, the cat sees its own reflection in the water–a reminder that we also see ourselves from a unique point-of-view.

Nina Ditmar, CLJ