They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel

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They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Subtly educational for the three-to-five age group and a pleasure to read aloud. Saying that it's about perception makes it sound far too dull.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 44 Date: August 2016
Publisher: Chronicle Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1452150130

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If I told you that They All Saw A Cat is a children's picture book about perception, you might be forgiven for thinking that toddlers were taking their pleasures a little sadly these days: you might be slightly mollified when I added in that it was also about the natural world, but it's much better that I just tell you a little bit about the content and I'm sure that you'll understand.

Everyone in this book sees a cat and it's the same cat:

The cat walked through the world,
With its whiskers, ears and paws...

But everyone in the book sees something different. The child sees something akin to a mobile cuddly toy, rather plump and definitely huggable, whilst the dog saw A CAT, who was rather skinny, very wary and definitely chaseable, if he could be bothered to get out of his basket. Perhaps later. The fox saw something very similar, only he could be bothered to do the chasing.

The fish sees something very large and, well, just a little but blurry with very large eyes, but they're not kind eyes. For the mouse the problem was even more immediate: this is a massive predator with sharp teeth and frighteningly-large claws. The bird was wary, knowledgeable about the threat and glad to be high in the sky and out of harm's way. For the flea the cat was luxurious bedding...

I'm sure that you get the idea: we've taken a walk alongside the cat and seen how each person, animal, reptile, bird or insect he meets perceives him: they're all different, despite the fact that each meets the same animal. It's gently, subtly educational: the bat's vision of the cat - a cat-sized collection of white dots leads easily to a discussion about how bats see. The goldfish's vision is distorted by the lens of his fishbowl. Each vision of the cat is altered by proximity, physiology and emotion: even the cat's view of himself is not entirely straightforward.

The writing is simple and rhythmic, occasionally repetitive in the best possible way and a pleasure to read aloud. The illustrations are superb and the whole is a masterpiece of curiosity, imagination and observation. It comes highly recommended for the three-to-five age group and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Black Cat, White Cat by Silvia Borando and Actual Size by Steve Jenkins.

Buy They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel at Amazon.com.


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