Inside Cat by Brendan Wenzel


Inside Cat 
Review Copy from Chronicle Books
Inside Cat is yet another marvelous picture book from Wenzel exemplifying his ability convey a unique perspective from the inside out and the outside in, words and pictures working in perfect unison.

"Inside Cat knows many windows, finds a view wherever it goes," begins a story that follows a cat through an enormous house, a new view at every turn - and a mouse, or two, on every page! Wenzel's words wander and wonder as Inside Cat gazes and gapes, stares and snacks, lingers and laps, nibbles and naps, always with a new view from a changing series of windows. Wenzel describes the shapes of the windows, the quality of the glass (dusty, streaky, gloomy, freaky), before describing what Inside Cat sees, words and pictures slightly askew. In the final pages, all the things that Inside Cat knows, from "who lives in the clouds," and "who plays with all the kids," to "what blares," and "what stares." Why, "Inside Cat might know it ALL!" In fact, as the penultimate pages imply, there might be nothing left for Inside Cat to explore. Leaving out the anticipated rhyming in word for ellipses, the final page turn shows Inside Cat in an open doorway (of a VERY cool house!), about to become Outside Cat. Inside Cat (and readers) gasping, "Oh," upon seeing the world outside. Endpapers, a map of the island where Inside Cat resides, is too delightful a surprise to spoil, but it will surely elicit yet another, "Oh!" from readers.

Wenzel's wonderful rhymes and repeating refrain make Inside Cat highly - and repeatedly - readable. And you will want to, and be asked to, read this book over and over. There is so much to discover in every illustration and connections with every page turn. Inside Cat is especially readable in union with Wenzel's other books (links to reviews below) and I can't wait to see what he adds to this marvelous collection next!

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