They All Saw a Cat

They All Saw a Cat
Written and Illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

Publisher’s Summary:
The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . . In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?

Primary Source Pairing:
What does prey look like through a predator’s eyes? What does a predator look like through prey’s eyes? How does an animal see? What adaptations do animals have to survive? All of these questions and more can be discussed when reading They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel. As the cat goes through the book, the following characters see the cat in their own way: child, dog, fox, fish, mouse, bee, bird, flea, snake, skunk, worm, bat.

For this primary source pairing, invite students to study the eyes of the animals in this book. Encourage students to view the illustration in the book featuring that animal and analyze the image of the eyes. How does the illustration describe how the animal sees? As the discussion allows, encourage students to choose one animal on which to focus. Students can work individually or in small groups. Share out analysis findings as a small or large group.

For a non-fiction text pairing, use Steve Jenkin’s book Eye to Eye. For more resources, including an activity guide for students and an instructional guide for teachers, check out the Chronicle Books website about They All Saw A Cat.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Look at the eyes of an animal or animals.
  • Describe what you see.
  • What is surprising to you?
  • What do you see that you didn’t expect?
  • What do you see that you cannot explain?
  • Look in the book and find an illustration of an animal seeing the cat. Next, look at the photograph of that animal’s eyes.
  • What do you notice about the illustration that supports how that animal sees?
  • What is interesting to you when comparing the illustration to the photograph?
  • What questions do this analysis and comparison create for you?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Eye Collage: Created by JMarek

Image citations: (in order on collage from top left to bottom right)
Child’s eye: Steve Corey on Flickr
Dog’s eye: Pexels
Fox’s eye: normalityrelief on Flickr
Goldfish eye: Pixabay
Mouse’s eye: Max Pixel
Bee’s eye: Wikimedia Commons
Bird’s eye: Wikimedia Commons
Flea’s eye: Pxhere
Snake’s eye: Pixabay
Skunk’s eye: Wikimedia Commons
Earthworm’s eye: Wikimedia Commons
Bat’s eye: Pixabay