Imagine What You’d See: Review of They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Cats are animals I have known and loved since I was a small child.

My family has had all kinds of cats- big fat ones, little ones, males, females, babies, and older ones. Cats seemed to be drawn to the home of my parents.

Nevertheless, we loved them and nurtured them.

It was not until I read Brendan Wenzel’s upcoming Chronicle title, They All Saw a Cat, that I was able to see cats in different ways and imagine them from different perspectives.

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The book begins with a beautiful brown striped cat, marked with a red collar and a bell.

The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws…

And the following spread, we see the cat up close- big eyed, lovable, squeezable, and most importantly, pet-able. What a nice cat.

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But things take a spin on the following page when we get to see the dog’s view of the cat- the cat the child saw as lovable and squeezable is now frail, droopy, and down to the bone. To a dog, a cat must look that way.

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Wenzel takes us on a journey throughout the book where we get to see how a cat looks from the perspective of a fox, a fish, a mouse, a bee, a bird, a flea, a snake, a skunk, a worm, a bat, and finally, the cat sees himself.

Brendan Wenzel nails the art in this one. He uses almost everything imaginable, according to the back matter: “The illustrations in this book 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.”

The illustrations are spot on and in all honesty, breathtaking.

It is apparent that Brendan did his research on how animals see the world to try and imagine what a cat must look like from the eyes of all of these different animals.

A natural pairing for this book in the classroom is Steve Jenkins’ Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World. 

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It’s rare to find a book like Brendan’s – that has such a unique concept that has been so brilliantly executed. Make sure you pre-order your copy today.

See the trailer for they all saw a cat here.

See my interview with Brendan Wenzel here.

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