Inside Cat

Inside Cat
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

The newest story from the New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Brendan Wenzel is a funny and wise celebration of observation, curiosity, and indoor life. From the endlessly inventive Caldecott Honor author/illustrator of They All Saw a Cat comes a picture book that is playful, perceptive, and full of delights.

Inside Cat is just that: an inside cat. But while the cat's life is bound by the walls of an unusual house, it's far from dull. As the cat wanders, wonders, stares, and snacks, roaming from room to room and place to place, both cat and reader discover worlds and sensations beyond what's right in front of them. And just when Inside Cat is sure it knows everything, another surprise awaits!

Fresh, funny, and wise, Inside Cat is a feast for the eyes and the imagination.

A BOOK THAT ENCOURAGES IMAGINATIVE THINKING: All of Brendan Wenzel's books play with observation, perception, and the imagination. Readers will see how the cat's imagination grows as it explores its building and will be inspired to make their own imaginative journeys.

A BOOK THAT ENCOURAGES OBSERVATION: There are many details in this book, from the decorations in the different rooms to the animals that appear. Readers will enjoy seeing how these details affect the cat, and will flip pages back and forth to see how the cat has incorporated these details into its thinking.

A BOOK THAT MAKES THE MOST OF THE INDOORS: The cat's world is inside a building, and it enjoys every aspect of being inside. The book sends a positive message about playing inside that parents will appreciate. GREAT TO READ ALOUD: The rhythmic narrative and refrains are catchy and fun to read out loud and invite audience participation.

BELOVED AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: Brendan is a bestselling Caldecott Honor-winning artist and a sought-after speaker at schools and libraries. His books They All Saw a Cat, Hello Hello, and A Stone Sat Still have received multiple starred reviews, state awards, and are family and classroom favorites.

Perfect for:

  • Parents and grandparents
  • Cat lovers
  • Fans of Brendan Wenzel
  • Educators
  • Librarians
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$16.19 $17.99

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Publisher's Weekly

Starred Review

In They All Saw a Cat, Wenzel mulled the riddle of perception through the eyes of various creatures looking at a cat. Here, it’s a cat that does the looking. The scribbly, wide-eyed feline’s awareness of the world is drawn from all it sees out the windows of its cat-shaped city home. The views are painted in vivid colors, while domestic interiors appear in pale tints. Wenzel elaborates the windows’ shapes, the vistas outside, and the cat’s conclusions about them in loose verse lines with a repeating chorus: “INSIDE CAT knows many windows,/ finds a view wherever it goes.// Wanders./ Wonders./ Gazes./ Gapes./ Sees the world through many shapes.” The cat, naturally, filters all it sees through its own perceptions: a helicopter is a “roaring fly,” while a partial view of a fur coat–clad person is supplied, in the cat’s mind, with a fluffy, squirrel-like tail. With so many windows to peer out of, the cat seems to know everything. Or does it? Wenzel’s multimedia spreads are loose and open-ended, rich and suggestive; they’ll leave readers wondering what’s out there beyond their own windows—and beyond their own experiential selves. Ages 3–5. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2–Inside Cat lives in a world filled with windows. Safe in its familiar world, Inside Cat observes the outside with curiosity and intrigue, often filling in the missing pieces with elements from its own imagination. Day after day, the vibrant city draws its attention, and just when it thinks it knows everything, Inside Cat finds a door that shows it more. This clever and enjoyable picture book is well suited to children and adults alike. Short sentences and a repetitive, rhyming structure make it accessible to young readers, while the overarching theme of bravely exploring the world outside one’s comfort zone is one that will resonate with older readers as well. The text and illustrations work to create a dynamic and memorable tableau, as Inside Cat explores the myriad levels of its home. Created in a variety of media, the images feature the hero as a cat-shaped combination of scribbles, giving it texture and making it stand out against the rest of the images. Its home is primarily white with light blue, watercolor outlines of objects within that space. However, outside the windows is where the color is, depicting a wide range of scenes.

VERDICT This cat’s world is filled with imagination and wonder, and readers of all ages will love this unique, cleverly executed story.–Reviewed by Mary Lanni, formerly at Denver P.L

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Chronicle Books
Publication date
October 20, 2021
BISAC categories
JUV009000 - Juvenile Fiction | Concepts | General
JUV002000 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | General
JUV029010 - Juvenile Fiction | Nature & the Natural World | Environment
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Stories in rhyme
Perspective (Philosophy)
Texas 2x2 Reading List
Selection 2022

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