Every time an old boss of mine walked into my office, I saw a devil. Literally- horns, an evil smile and a face like fire. One evening, years after I had quit that job, my husband and I ran into this old boss at a restaurant. He could not believe this lady was the same person I'd always spoken about, as her southern charm and sweet as sugar demeanor won him over. All he saw were gardenias throughout our quick conversation, while I still watched her breathe fire.
This encounter was what I thought of when I first read Brendan Wenzel's remarkable debut entitled They All Saw A Cat. In this story, a cat walks through the world, complete with whiskers, ears and paws. Yet, as he comes across various animals, the cat is perceived in astonishingly different ways, from predator to huggable house pet, in color or in black and white, from up above or from down below, and his body parts seem to morph and change based on the eyes through which the cat is viewed. The text is spare, letting the beautiful and unique illustrations impart whether the observer views the cat as friend or foe.
What a powerful read!! Every character in this remarkably intelligent book views somethingunique when looking at the exact same cat. Clearly shaped by their prior experiences and interactions with the cat, their perceptions of the animal vary tremendously and convey to the reader how perspective and personal interactions can fashion our views of the world. This bookoffers a phenomenal segue for discussing observation and perception with young children, and it helps them understand that we all have unique relationships with every person (or animal!) we come across. They All Saw a Cat is a brilliant debut picture book and seems to be the first of its kind. It is no surprise that there was an 8-publisher auction for this book! This is a true treasure. Don't delay - preorder it now!
Want the book? Get it here! They All Saw a Cat, by Brendan Wenzel