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They All Saw A Cat
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They All Saw A Cat

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  9,426 ratings  ·  1,343 reviews
The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . .

In this celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many views of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?
Hardcover, 44 pages
Published August 30th 2016 by Chronicle Books
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Amy Milstead This is a great book to talk about the concept of perception and perspective. I think it could honestly be used at any level.
Sarah Nothing. Its an entirely original concept.

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  9,426 ratings  ·  1,343 reviews

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Emily May
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, childrens
Okay, I don't intend to review all the picture books I'm currently reading to my baby boy but I just had to say something about this one. This is such a simple, beautifully-illustrated idea and yet it contains a lesson that EVERYONE should learn. About cats; about books; about the whole world.

It was actually my boy's Daddy who first read this to him and, I must say, perfectly demonstrated the point of the book in a rather amusing way.

Dad: That book was lame. It was all about a cat.
Mum (me): Act
Hannah Greendale
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
They All Saw a Cat has stunning illustrations and teaches that our varied perspectives shape the way we see others.

The cat -- with his whiskers, ears, and paws -- goes for a walk and is portrayed as he is seen through the eyes of all who notice him. On one page the cat is a bushy forest of endless fur (as seen by the flea). On another, the cat is two enormous yellow eyes blurred by a wall of water and glass (as seen by the fish). Yet another page shows the cat as a plump treat (a tasty morsel i
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It’s funny. Unless you’re a teacher or librarian, a grown adult that does not work or live with children will come into very little contact with picture books. Then, one day, they produce a few kids and BLAMMO! They are shot into a world they haven’t visited since they were young themselves. They grab frantically at the classics, discover that a lot of them don’t work with very very young children (since when did Horton Hatches the Egg have so many words?!?), and then occasionally turn to the e ...more
Delightful! I was not expecting this. As Anton Ego says from Ratatouille:
"Anton Ego: You know what I'm craving? A little perspective. That's it. I'd like some fresh, clear, well seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that?
Mustafa: With what, sir?
Anton Ego: Perspective. Fresh out, I take it?
Mustafa: I am, uh...
Anton Ego: Very well. Since you're all out of perspective and no one else seems to have it in this BLOODY TOWN, I'll make you a deal. You provide the food, I'll provi
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
I love this book. It’s almost perfect.

The pictures are truly wonderful and perfectly illustrate the book’s focus about perception and self-identity too. They’re detailed, fascinating, sometimes humorous, sometimes sweet, and sometimes scary.

The text is interesting and has effective repetition to keep young children engaged while at the same time sufficiently interesting so that older readers will not be bored.

I like the end a lot although that last illustration is might be my least favorite of
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel is a children's picture book about perception. It's a very simple story about how a variety of living beings all perceive a cat differently. The illustrations are very colorful and detailed.

This is an honor book this year for the 2017 Caldecott Medal. For award news please visit our blog

I absolutely adore both the illustrations and the entire concept of Brendan Wenzel's imaginative and in my opinion oh so true They All Saw a Cat (as everyone, from humans to diverse animal species will by nature see and perceive a given image, in this case a cat, differently, based on both how one's eyes are physically, biologically constructed and how one emotionally and perhaps even philosophically visualises a cat, well actually anything, for that matter). And thus, some of the animals who se ...more
Sophia Triad
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, cats
Very clever children's book with beautiful illustrations.
It explains how different animals while they see the same cat, they can see it differently. The prespective changes every time.
Since it is a book that is written for very young children, most of the phrases and group of words are repeated.
It is an excellent book to read to a toddler in order to learn to connect words with images.
A KG2 kid can read it on his/her own with minimum help.
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Technically this is a little kid book, but I liked it. There is a cat and as we wander through the pages the cat looks different ways to different things.

Mainly I like cats, I compulsively buy books that have cats - it is my OCD - obsessive cat disorder. But I had a lot of fun with this, and I made other people look at it too, we all had a lot of fun with it, even sober.

The little kid value is that it illustrates how we all see the world a bit differently, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Michele Knott
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The more I read this book, the more I love it.
This book should have great conversations around perception and point of view.
Niki (Daydream Reader)
This book is perfect to share when talking about point of view!
Apr 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Luv itttt

I love the rhythm in the words that follows the beat and the tone of the colors, illustrations, patterns....To me, this book is a kid's version of William Blake's, "Tyger, Tyger" starring a cat viewed in the eyes of other animals!! Love this!
Gotta send it to my niece as well as get a copy for myself!!
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
**Rated by my son**

I agree with my son on the rating. This was a really cute book and we had a blast reading it together. I really like the books that follow a repetitive theme so that even the little ones that can't read yet have no problem following along and even participating in "reading" the book.
Ivonne Rovira
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ivonne by: BookBub
What a delightful picture book! In Brendan Wenzel’s Eric Carlesque They All Saw a Cat, each observer — child, dog, terrified mouse, goldfish and more — see a different manifestation of the household pet. Borrow a child if you have to so that you can have an excuse to enjoy this Caldecott Honor book for yourself. (Or just be brave and borrow it with no excuses, as I did.)
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young children
Recommended to Hilary by: Lisa (not getting friends updates) Vegan
A cat takes a journey through a garden, on it's way the cat is viewed by many creatures and we get to see how the cat is seen in their eyes. Lovely bright, colourful illustrations, they remind me in places of Eric Carle. ...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Wonderful playful look at how perspective changes everything! We get to see a cat from various eyes - as a beloved pet owned by a child, an enormous monster to a mouse, a slinky villainous creature that must be chased to a dog, a pixellated moving mountain of color to a bee.
Charming illustrations bring the reader into each of these viewpoints, and we see the cat with new eyes.
A great book to teach empathy, introduce biology, or to explore art, this is one remarkable book! I would not be surpri
Dave Schaafsma
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Each year I and my family read and rate all the Goodreads picture book nominees. This one is nominated for 2016. I make a few comments and then add their separate ratings and a comment. There's 15 and this is the seventh being rated. My rating might be somewhat influenced by the family, naturally. Not so much in this one, since I liked it better than they did.

A book mainly about perspective. And cats, and other animals, by a conservationist illustrator, yay! A;ll the animals see the cat in diffe
Alison Strandell
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Seeing/hearing this picture book at Nerd Camp, I definitely agree it can be used to lead into topics of perception and perspective. They All Saw a Cat [in very different ways] should get Ss thinking about how they view other people/situations, and how other people view them. Ultimately, I'm liking the idea of incorporating at least one picture book per week for literacy instruction this coming school year. :) ...more
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Genius book on the subjectivity of perception. Great discussion starter too.
3.5 out of 5
A simple but very clever picturebook on perception and different points of view.

How does the same cat look like to different animals?

Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
To me, it seems this might be too much like Seven Blind Mice (which is perfect and unsurpassable) and/or some of Eric Carle's works (which in turn use a common trope in toddler books). We'll see!
Well, no, not *exactly.* Some of the pictures make 'hard' scientific sense, for example the perspective of the snake (infrared) and the bat (echo-location). Some are more psychologically apt (the child focuses on the eyes, the mouse sees the cat as dark, radiating scariness). Others I just d
Erin Buhr
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An impressive and creative book about perception. On each page an animal sees the cat. A simple concept, but what each animal sees is completely different. The mouse sees something terrifying. The fish sees something blurred. Each perspective of the cat is represented using a variety of artistic styles and techniques. A great way to help kids think about differences in how everyone sees the world.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the concept of this book, but I didn't really enjoy the artwork. I liked how the worm, bat and mouse saw the cat, but many of the other pictures looked a little goofy to me. A child may enjoy the pictures better. It just didn't work for me. 3, under-whelmed and somewhat disappointed, stars. ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Cybils finalist for best fiction picture book.
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
A delightful tale of how people and other animals "see" a cat. ...more
Lauren Stoolfire
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
La Coccinelle
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Here's an example of a book where I love the premise but abhor the execution.

It's not even that I think the illustrations are bad. They're not. It's a really personal, subjective thing. I had visceral reactions of disgust and fear to some of the pictures (and not necessarily the ones from the perspectives you'd expect). I was--and still am--very sensitive to illustrations in books. That's what I tend to remember about them, especially if they've elicited an emotional reaction. It's the reason I
This stunningly-illustrated picture book utilizes colored pencil, oil pastels, acrylic paint, watercolor, charcoal, markers, and pencils to explore how different animals see a feline as the cat strolls into view. The idea behind this picture book is clever since not only do each of us see different things when we view the objects in our world, but our perspectives, like those of the animals in this book, are different as well. Thus, what a child sees when he regards a cat is quite different from ...more
Kaethe Douglas
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, animals, cats
They All Saw a Cat - Brendan Wenzel  Cool book. Nice use of art to show different perspectives juxtaposed with a repetitive, rhythmic text. The sort of book that can make repeated re-reads a delight. It lends itself to open speculation on the nature of seeing and the nature of depiction. It also makes me want to set loose a whole classroom in the art supplies to see how many different styles of cat they can come up with.. I'm going to follow this cat into a metaphysical/artistic  rabbit hole: do ...more
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a 2017 winner of The Caldecott Medal.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I liked how it presented a simple story by comparing how a young boy and various animals saw the same cat, but the cat looked and was perceived very different from one animal to the next. (Simple, creative, imaginative, thought provoking, artsy.)
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Goodreads Choice ...: They All Saw a Cat - October 2017 2 27 Oct 05, 2017 08:28AM  
Mock Caldecott 2022: * Mock Awards and More 29 204 Feb 14, 2017 06:46PM  

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Brendan Wenzel is an author and illustrator based in upstate New York. His debut picture book, They All Saw a Cat, was a New York Times bestseller and the recipient of a 2017 Caldecott Honor. An ardent conservationist, he is a proud collaborator with many organizations working to ensure the future of wild places and threatened species.

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