Friday 15 July 2016

ReaditDaddy's First Book of the Week - Week Ending 15th July 2016 - "They All Saw a Cat" by Brendan Wenzell (Chronicle Books)

A trippy, zippy and somewhat slinky book is our first book of the week this week. Step into the silken shoes of a moggy!
"They All Saw a Cat" is one of those books that makes your eyes pop out as you flick through for the first time, and if you're lucky enough to have a little one perched on your knee it'll have the same effect on them too.

It gladdens the heart to think that books like this exist, and Brendan Wenzel obviously knows that young children enjoy a visual feast that pushes their perception of what kidlit art really is, and how it drives a story.

A cat is out for a morning constitutional, and along the way we see the cat through the eyes of the various inhabitants of her neighbourhood (Charlotte was strongly insistent that it was a 'She' cat despite there not being any evidence to the contrary - I think she has a bright future ahead of her in ensuring books are inclusive and chock full of girl power!)

So when the cat slips past a snake, what does the snake see?

Such beautiful, beautiful moggy visions!
Cleverly, Brendan has developed an artistic interpretation of different animal vision that makes the whole story come to life in such an amazing way.

What does a dog see?

(I think this is one of our favourite panels, the animal expressions are purrrrrfect!)

The story repetition also helps this glue itself into the consciousness of your little ones as you read through with them.

What did the bee see? Seurat-cat perhaps?

It's a stunning book, not just because of the glorious art but because it stimulates great conversations about how we see the world and perhaps how animals see us, themselves and the other animals they come into contact with. A veritable feast for the eyes, a treat of a story, pretty much purrrfect in every way!

Charlotte's favourite bit: "And the DOG saw a cat!"

Daddy's favourite bit: I just love that Brendan acknowledges that children can cope with a great deal of visual complexity and depth, and he's gone to town here to prove that point in such a perfect and exciting way. Glorious book, this! Put it at the top of your to-buy list when it arrives at the end of August!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Chronicle Books)

"They all saw a cat!"

Written and Illustrated by Brendan Wenzell

Published by Chronicle Books

Publication Date (Hardback): 30th August 2016