They All Saw a Cat

by Brendan Wenzel (Author)

They All Saw a Cat
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
In simple, rhythmic prose and stylized pictures, a cat walks through the world, and all the other creatures see and acknowledge the cat.

The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . . In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see.

When you see a cat, what do you see? 
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Kirkus Reviews

A solo debut for Wenzel showcasing both technical chops and a philosophical bent.


Starred Review

Rich in discussion possibilities and curriculum applications, this is a treasure for classrooms, story hours, and just plain enjoyment.

Hornbook Guide to Children

Starred Review

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.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

"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 2016 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

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 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Brendan Wenzel has made a beautiful book about both perception and the natural world." -Lane Smith author/illustrator of There Is a Tribe of Kids
Brendan Wenzel
Brendan Wenzel is the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of the Caldecott Honor Book They All Saw a Cat, as well as the acclaimed picture books A Stone Sat Still, Hello Hello, and Inside Cat. He has also illustrated numerous works for children including Some Pets and Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi and Life by Cynthia Rylant. With a great affection for all things furred, feathered, and scaly, he is a proud collaborator with many groups working to protect and conserve wild places and creatures. He lives in Brooklyn and invites you to visit him at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Chronicle Books
Publication date
August 20, 2016
BISAC categories
JUV002050 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Cats
JUV009000 - Juvenile Fiction | Concepts | General
JUV051000 - Juvenile Fiction | Imagination & Play
Library of Congress categories
Identity (Psychology)
Caldecott Medal
Honor Book 2017 - 2017
New York Times, 11/13/16
Christian Library Journal starred, 07/01/17

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