Hardcover, 44 pages
Expected publication: August 30th 2016 by Chronicle Books
Source: Raincoast Books
Brendan Wenzel’s They All Saw a Cat inexplicably reminds me of Jon Klassen’s Hat series. Perhaps because it too has an animal going on some sort of journey…is that an exaggeration? Okay, never mind.
I absolutely LOVED this picturebook because of so many reasons. Where do I even start? Obviously from the beginning…so…
They All Saw a Cat is about the different ways different creatures see the same cat as this cat goes about its life, doing cat-like things like meowing and stalking around with its tail held high. Really, that’s about it and you wouldn’t think that a simple premise would be so wonderful and have such real life applications but it totally does!
The picturebook is a visual delight for one thing. The art is beautiful and a bit quirky, just the way I like it. The cat is viewed by a child, a dog, a mouse, a fish, a bird, and a flea and it looks completely different to all of them. I can already hear young children chortling at the different ways in which this cat is drawn.
I think teachers and parents will this book an invaluable tool in the way it makes some complex things accessible for young children. For example, trying to explain why screaming and giggling loudly is not necessarily fun for everyone…because not everyone sees the cat in the same way. Yeah? No? Well okay, how about things like explaining wars and hostilities. The cat that is benign and cute to the little boy is fanged and monstrous to the mouse. They All Saw the Cat is a wonderful way to show children the meaning of perspective and how one’s relationship to the object under observation alters their perception of the object.
Which makes me realize that we never see things as they really are because whatever we view, we do so under the bias of our own feelings. How…scary. This book can be used in art classes and in poetry classes and used to begin discussions about so many different things.
Get this book. Read this book. Discuss this book. You won’t regret it.