“They All Saw a Cat” is Brendan Wenzel’s first book as both author and illustrator. But this debut doesn’t have any of the rough edges or flat notes of a rookie’s work. What it does have — in abundance — are the easy charms and wisdom of a classic.
First there is the simple text, hypnotically repetitive, which tells the story of a cat as it crosses paths with other animals. “The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . . and the child saw A CAT, and the dog saw A CAT, and the fox saw A CAT. Yes, they all saw the cat.” It’s easy to imagine a group of toddlers chanting along, palms thumping knees to keep time with the rhythm of the words.
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