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They All Saw a Cat
by Brendan Wenzel
Book Jacket
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781452188058 PreS-Gr 3-This playful exploration of perspective presents its strolling subject through a range of animal lenses; the resulting views comprise a kaleidoscope of physical and psychological interpretations. A child pets a soft, smiling cat with cartoon eyes. The dog observes a scrawny, slinking creature dominated by a bell. Through the fishbowl, the cat is a blurry close-up. An expressionistic explosion exhibits the mouse's viewpoint: a red background sets the tone for the menacing monster, all pointy teeth and outsize claws. Entertaining and intellectually stimulating, Wenzel's ideas progress from ways of seeing that are easily grasped to those that require more thought, e.g., the underground worm understands the feline's presence by sensing its mirror image-shown in vibrating lines that surround him as it crosses overhead. The distinctive look of each spread and the skill with which the artist employs a multitude of media, from colored pencils, charcoal, and oil pastels to watercolor and markers, underscore the variety of perspectives and add visual pleasure. The symmetrical narrative structure, selective rhymes, and cumulative conclusion (in which the cat's body is built from a piece of each prior view and the animals are enumerated in a fast-paced, rhythmic manner) have the feel of a classic story song, such as "The Cat Goes Fiddle-I-Fee" or "The Green Grass Grew All Around." Ultimately the cat approaches a pond to see, of course, a reflection. From the endpapers to each clever composition, this title invites interaction and thoughtful looking, always allowing the child to discern meaning. VERDICT An excellent first purchase that belongs in all picture book collections.-Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781452150130 PreS-Gr 3-Readers see the world through a different set of eyes thanks to Wenzel's whimsical and eye-catching artwork as a child, a fox, a worm, and others look on as a tabby saunters through a variety of environments. Each distinctive and imaginative spread features a shape-shifting perspective-such as a bee's pointillistic view of the feline-set to a stripped-down, rhythmic text. Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781452150130 *Starred Review* What does saw mean anyway? If you're Wenzel, the word is an invitation to explore, to think, and to see in new ways. Here, a repeating refrain with more than a hint of nursery rhyme pads through the book, right along with the central character: a cat. The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws. Yes, they all saw a cat. Each page turn reveals how a series of creatures sees the cat. To the child, it is big-eyed and adorably fluffy; to the fish in the bowl, it's two huge, blurry eyes; and to the bee, it is a series of faceted dots. To create these varied visions, Wenzel uses the spacious width of double-page spreads and a wide range of materials, including oil, pastels, watercolor, and pencils. He plays with perspective in other ways, too. A yellow bird looks down at the cat below, and a flea peers through a forest of fur. The result is fascinating, thought-provoking, and completely absorbing. Rich in discussion possibilities and curriculum applications, this is a treasure for classrooms, story hours, and just plain enjoyment.--Rutan, Lynn Copyright 2016 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781452150130 "The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws," writes Wenzel (Beastly Babies) at the opening of this perspective-broadening picture book. What those features add up to depends on the eyes of the beholder, not to mention scale relationships, instincts, and history. To a child, the cat looks like a pet: affectionate, big eyed, and adorable. But a flea sees a vast forest of dense hair to conquer. A mouse cowers before the dragonlike creature of horror that bounds out of a blood-red background with blazing yellow eyes. And a bee sees a collection of multicolored dots-a pointillist pussycat. The simple text ("the skunk saw a cat, and the worm saw a cat, and the bat saw a cat. Yes, they all saw the cat") creates a powerful, rhythmic juxtaposition between word and image, and inventively varied renderings showcase a versatile, original talent at work, in media ranging from collage to pencil and watercolor. This is Wenzel's first book as both illustrator and writer, and it's marvelous-no matter how you look at it. Ages 3-5. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781452150130 As a sleek, realistic-looking cat walks "through the world," a diverse assortment of creatures happens upon it, each with a distinct perception of the feline. Rendered in "almost everything imaginable," Wenzel's colorful, dazzling illustrations are as varied from page to page as the animals represented. The spare but steady text uses all-caps and italics for emphasis and plenty of rhythm and repetition. (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.