They All Saw a Cat

They All Saw a Cat book cover

Children of all ages will love this story, and it is one that can be appreciated on many levels. Great mentor text: point of view.

They All Saw a Cat
by Brendan Wenzel
Chronicle Books, 2016
ISBN 978-1-4521-5013-0
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 29 cm
Interest level: PreK-2nd grade; reading level: 0.9
5 out of 5 stars


Brendan Wenzel begins his story with these words:

The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws…

The following pages then demonstrate the many different ways that The Cat is viewed.

The child sees a cat that is a sweet, big-eyed companion. The fish sees a close-up, blurry, watery, image of huge cat eyes staring at him. The mouse sees a horror version of the cat that is all teeth and claws. The final image raises the question of what version of himself does the cat see?

With images that are set on a mostly white background, repetitive and simple text, this story is highly accessible to all readers, while it also delivers a profoundly deep message about life. Our experiences with other people shape how they see us individually, and all of those images come together to create who we are. Apart from how the world outside sees us, we also carry an image inside that shows how we see ourselves.

Children of all ages will love this story, and it is one that can be appreciated on many levels. Young children do not need to carry away the deeper theme in order to enjoy seeing how the different animals see the same cat in so many varied ways. This would make a great mentor text for writing lessons that focus on point of view.

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