Since I tutor first graders in reading, I am always looking for books with engaging stories, few words, lots of repetition and large, widely spaced text. They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel delivers.
We have one cat and many observers: a child sees a friendly, smiling cat; the dog, a more sinister, unfriendly cat and the mouse a ferocious monster cat. A fish sees the cat through a watery filter, the bee's compound eyes see a pointillist cat and a skunk sees a grey-toned cat. Sometimes what an animal sees is due to perspective: a bird sees a different cat than a flea, worm or a bat. What does the cat see when she looks in a pond?
Each of Brendan Wenzel's illustrations perfectly illustrates what each of the observers see. There is no need for kids to decode words like ferocious, pointillist or sinister. The picture tells the story. There is a good deal of Caldecott buzz about this book right now.
The Sonoma County Library has seven copies. The AR level is 1.9.