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They All Saw a Cat

by Brendan Wenzel

Published by Chronicle, 2016
36 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4521-5013-0


“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

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