They All Saw A Cat + Animal Eyesight Activity

They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel review + animal eyesight and perspective activity

“The cat walked through the world, with it’s whiskers, ears, and paws….”

Do you ever wonder how animals see us? What does their world look like? Is it the same as ours? Brendan Wenzel’s playful picture book explores this concept of animal perspective in They All Saw A Cat (public library). Follow a cat along on an adventure through the eyes of the animals it comes across, seeing the world in entirely different ways.

They All Saw A Cat

They All Saw A Cat - Dog perspective

They All Saw A Cat- fish perspective

Man. What a clever, creative picture book. It’s a rhythmic story with stunning illustrations of a cat who comes across a child, a dog, a fox, a fish, a flea, a bee… And many other animals the cat encounters, all of which see the cat differently. But, it also waxes a bit existential in it’s notion of how we perceive the world around us, how others creatures perceive that very same world, and also how we perceive ourselves. It also makes for a wonderful early reader book– Many of the lines and words are repetitive and each page has clear picture clues to help determine the new animal words. Perhaps this will be a Geisel book award contender for 2017? I’m just going to put that out there into the universe…

They All Saw A Cat - bee perspective

They All Saw A Cat - snake and skunk perspective 4

They All Saw A Cat outtakes

Photo shoot outtake: Zydeco and Soren Lorenson also throughly enjoyed this read, but they didn’t especially enjoy the part about the flea. Not really fans of fleas. Speaking of perspective, I really should start writing my cat picture book reviews from their perspective… They have OPINIONS. Maybe not? Too much weird cat lady for you?



Playing with persepective on the iPad

They All Saw A Cat prompts the question: “When you see a cat, what do you see?” and also leads to further thinking about how animals view us as well. After watching this video about animal eyesight, we played around with the Photobooth app on the iPad, which is also available on Mac computers, and used that as a tool to discuss perception. There are eight special effects modes that kids can have fun playing around with, snapping pictures of what they see. The thermal option is pretty nifty because that’s how some snakes actually “see” using heat.  If an iPad isn’t available at home, try your local school or public library to see if they have equipment to borrow. Or just take a piece of paper around and draw what you see and/or what an animal of your choice might see from their viewpoint. You can also have fun manipulating images with photo editing filters on the mobile device of your choice. Of course, the kids took pictures of the cats…

Playing with perspective after reading the book They All Saw A Cat

You can also download this They Saw A Cat Activity Kit for coloring pages, cat mask making, drawing prompt, and more!

For further information about animal eyesight including pictures demonstrating how certain animals see, check out these links:
How Animals See The World (video)
10 Examples How Animals See
This Is How Cats See The World



*Copy of book reviewed provided by the good folks at Chronicle Books!


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