they all saw a cat + emily arrow’s they all saw a cat song + giveaway!

They All Saw a Cat_FCThey All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel (2016).

The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws…”

So starts this genius picture book.

And then, different beings see that cat walking through the world. And they all see the cat differently according to their own perspectives, interpretations, and even the way their sense of sight works. Those whiskers, ears, and paws are not as fixed as they may first appear.


Brendan Wenzel has created a book that explores subjectivity and imagination through how one cat can contain multitudes and many disparate qualities depending on who’s doing the seeing. (And, by extension, how all the things and people and events in the world contain multitudes if you look from different points of view.)

Not to mention that the mediums and evocations of the art are as varied as the perspectives. I also love the furry endpapers.

They All Saw A Cat_Int_Fish

They All Saw A Cat_Int_Bird

(click image(s) to enlarge)

Let’s take a look. Is the seer up close or far away? In a bowl, like the fish? On its back like the flea? In the sky like the bird?



They All Saw A Cat_Int_Dog

They All Saw A Cat_Int_Mouse

What does the seer see when it sees a cat? A friend or foe? Something innocuous or something threatening?

Does the seer see in pixels or in black and white? In infrared like the snake? Those are probably my favorite spreads: the bee, the snake, and the skunk. How fun to imagine how other creatures see the world! And how important to imagine how other humans see the world too.

In the end, the cat is all of these things.

What do you see when you see a cat? What do you see when you see this or that? What do you see when you see yourself?


Big thanks to Chronicle Books for images! A perfect publisher for this book as its motto is “see things differently”!

And you may want to check out the activity kit for the book too.




TheyAllSawACatEAEmily Arrow has stopped by once before and I couldn’t be more honored and delighted that she’s here once again to share her singular talents and premiere her “They All Saw a Cat” song for you!





The setting: the back porch at Green Bean Books in Portland.

The stars: super sweet kids doing animal hand motions with panache.

The song: singable, hummable, even clappable!

Emily has such a special way of making a song that captures a book’s essence while elaborating on the elements that seem meant for music. This is no exception. Kids will love it.



cover_digitaldistributionCheck out Emily’s full album, Storytime Singalong!







And before you go, there’s a giveaway! Chronicle is generously offering up 10 copies of They All Saw a Cat to 10 winners! That’s right, 10! Enter to win one of them below.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


58 Responses to they all saw a cat + emily arrow’s they all saw a cat song + giveaway!

  1. Obsessed with this book — hope I win a copy but I’ll most likely buy it too! Cute song. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Miranda says:

    Isn’t this a remarkable book about perspective. I was sad to return our library copy. Lovely feature!

  3. Daynah says:

    We are excited to read this book! Already pre-ordered a copy but would love to win one for my daughter’s friend! 🙂

  4. Stacy Couch says:

    Love this, from concept to pics. When I see a cat, I see a furry, graceful sneak who covets my SpaghettiOs.

  5. carriegelson says:

    Funny that you posted this today – our breakfast conversation was all about whether we give cats time or whether they give us their time. When I see a cat, I see an observant calm creature more aware than it seems.

  6. mariagianferrari says:

    I have been a fan of Brendan Wenzel’s art for such a long time! And I’ve been so looking forward to this book. It’s such a wonderful concept, lively and lovingly executed.

    And my 2 yr old godson loves dancing to Emily’s CD!

  7. Earl Dizon says:

    Will definitely be recommending this for its various illustration styles to teach perspective!

  8. When I see a cat I see…a challenge, an opportunity, a temporary lap companion and upholstery-ripping frenemy. The last cat I owned would bite my ankles when I brushed my teeth. When I remembered to usher him outside of the bathroom first. he proceeded to “Mee-yowl!” as if I had shut his tail in the door. Cats!!

  9. Sarah M says:

    My daughter LOVES not only cats (and only sees kittens, hah!) but she also loves Emily Arrows ‘book’ cd!!

  10. I can’t wait to see this book! 🙂 So excited!

  11. Where did you find those darling kids?! They are amazing! They were a great addition to your video!

  12. Juliana Lee says:

    Oh how I love this!

  13. Lisa Gerin says:

    I see my pet rescue cat, Lucy, who has brought joy to our family for the past six years.

  14. Joanna says:

    LOVE, LoVe, love! I see fun and fur and furtiveness.

  15. Heather says:

    Looks like a great book! Thanks for sharing.

  16. Kate says:

    A friend that keeps the mice away!!

  17. This book is fabulous! I discovered it today, and I would love a copy!

  18. Dee Leone says:

    The book looks precious and I’d love to win one. Guess who’s coming to Houston’s Blue Willow Bookshop this Thursday! The one and only Emily Arrow! I hope I can drop by to say @helloemilyarrow!

  19. Gee says:

    A great question. My answer has changed with time. I used to see cars as cuddly creatures but now I’m becoming more sensitive to dander so I see or my body reacts to them by becoming itchy.
    I hope our library adds this book to its collection & uses Emily’s song during story time!

  20. StephMWard says:

    When I see a cat, I see….an allergy coming on!

    I’m so intrigued by this book. Thanks for the post, the images and your always-so-interesting observations.

    And thanks for the giveaway!

  21. Kristen Picone says:

    When I see a cat, I see a friend, a fur ball, a stealthy trickster, & a flexible tumbler.

  22. I *love* Emily Arrow! Hope I win; if not, buying the book anyway!

  23. Bie says:

    Must. Have! Absolutely LOVE what I’ve seen of this Book!

  24. Jill O. says:

    Emily Arrow + They All Saw a Cat=Awesomesauce!

  25. Em says:

    When I see a cat, I see a HAT!

  26. Keila Dawson says:

    What a thought provoking story. Love the song and cats. 🙂

  27. Julie Segal Walters says:

    BEAUTIFUL! And, Emily!! Awe-inspiring as always!! xo

  28. liphany says:

    I am salivating over this book. Thanks for the opportunity!

  29. Rachael M says:

    When I see a cat, I usually go the other way! Unless they are in books, of course! This book looks especially cool. We are big Emily Arrow fans at our house.

  30. Cathy Ogren says:

    This is such a creative approach to crafting a story. Love it!

  31. When I see a cat I see tip toes and a friendly tail! Love Emilie’s song, will be in my head all evening!

  32. Melissa says:

    Love this book and can’t wait to share it in the classroom! When I see a cat, I see a soul-companion.

  33. Reena Balding says:

    When I see a cat I see a ruthless bird killer. I still the book!

  34. Lynne Marie says:

    So much buzz about this book….Thanks for sharing!

  35. Lynne Marie says:

    Meant to say when I see a cat, I see a shapeshifter.

  36. Melissa Smith says:

    When I see a cat, I see a mess. Hubby’s cats like to vomit and make messes everywhere m

  37. creslibrary says:

    When I see cats, I remember all the farm girl memories of playing with the kittens in the barn for endless hours of uninterrupted childhood entertainment and exploration.

  38. When I see a cat I remember the cats I had growing up and how devastated I was when one was hit by a car. Maybe that is why I am now a dog person?

  39. Michelle Perron says:

    I first heard of this book through Emily Arrow. It’s wonderful!

  40. When I see a cat I see happiness!

  41. Pingback: They All Saw a Cat – Design Of The Picture Book

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