They All Saw a Cat

6 min. Weston Woods. 2017. $59.99. ISBN 9781338230390.
K-Gr 3—Brendan Wenzel's Caldecott Honor–winning illustrations pop against a white background in this animated adaptation. A cat makes its way through the world, and its existence is interpreted differently by each animal it encounters. The mouse sees pointy teeth and huge claws, while the fish sees two huge blurry yellow eyes. Wenzel challenges viewers to think about perspective as they follow the cat's wanderings, and the gentle repetition of the text ties each animal's observations together. Instrumental background music grounds John Lithgow's expressive narration, and the cat's jingling bell, the bee's buzzing wings, and other animal sounds add depth to the production. The author varies his media with each animal's point of view, and the results are stunning images created with watercolors, cut paper, crayon, acrylic paint, colored pencils, and more. A bonus interview segment with Wenzel provides insight into his creative influences, and viewers learn how his love of animals inspires much of his work.
VERDICT The simplicity of the language and the gorgeous visuals make this production an asset for teaching students how to experience the world from all perspectives.

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