Brilliantly playful is Brendan Wenzel’s Inside Cat wherein rather than the cat being an object viewed by other creatures as in They All Saw a Cat, this cat is the subject doing the looking.
Readers share with said cat its view of the outside world through all kinds and shapes of windows. No matter where the moggy wanders, or the condition of the window(s) there’s something of note be it small or large upon which to fix its gaze and wonder – downward, upward or side by side.
There is SO much to behold, to watch – fluffy rats, roaring flies …
Consequently inside, Cat is a veritable fount of knowledge with all this information amassed from various vantage points.
But … then comes a startling surprise. It’s certainly one for the protagonist but readers faced with that final spread will probably wonder what took our feline friend so long to widen its horizons …
The story is told through a seemingly simple, carefully considered rhythmic, rhyming text and a sequence of brilliantly constructed, equally carefully considered mixed media illustrations that demonstrate how our own experience and our emotions shape our view of the world and the personal narrative we construct.
Assuredly this is one of those books that readers will want to return to over and over, with the possibility of new discoveries emerging on each reading. Equally it’s a wonderful starting point for children’s own creativity or a community of enquiry discussion.