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They All Saw a Cat by debut author/illustrator Brendan Wenzel is easily one of my favorite picture books published this year. In fact, this picture book caught the attention of my older kids just as much (maybe more so) than my younger ones. It’s brand new, but I’m pretty sure this one will quickly garner some awards.

The text is deceptively simple. A cat walks through the world, and various creatures see him. But the illustrations add a whole new level of meaning.

As with any picture book, the text and illustrations work in tandem to fully explore theme and story. What I love about They All Saw a Cat is the varying levels of ideas in this book. Each page spread cunningly shows how a cat might appear to other creatures. I dare you to read it to your kids without talking about it. I bet you can’t. (And that’s a good thing!)

  1. Art–Wenzel really pulled out his toolbox. He uses so many different mediums for his drawings. If your child has ever wondered what the “right way” to draw something is, this book can help dispel that myth.
  2. Science–My older kids loved this aspect of the book. When a bee sees the cat, we see a cat made up of dots through the bee’s compound eyes. When an earthworm sees the cat, we see the cat made up of vibrations in the ground. And those are just two examples. This is a great jumping off point for how animals see.
  3. Perspective–The perspective that several animals, as well as the child, have of the cat is based on their relationship with the cat. They boy sees the cat as cute and cuddly. The fox sees the cat as dinner, while the mouse sees the cat as a monster. This is a perfect discussion opener for how we view other people! Use it to talk with your kids.

If you are looking for a great picture book to add to your collection, They All Saw a Cat belongs on your bookshelf. I don’t want to give away its ending… but it’s perfect. (Or should I say, purr-fect?)

Have you read They All Saw a Cat? What did you think?

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They All Saw A Cat... What will you see?

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