Saturday, June 27, 2020

Review: Only the Cat Saw by Ashley Wolff

by Ashley Wolff
Walker Books
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 3 to 7


What does a curious farm cat see when the sun goes down, the stars come out, and everyone else is fast asleep? Find out in this brand new, fully refreshed and repainted edition of Ashley Wolff’s classic Only the Cat Saw.

When night falls, a family eases into supper, bath, and bedtime. But while their day is ending, their farm cat’s adventures have just begun! Only the cat sees the sun set over a flock of sheep, an owl stalking a mouse, a shooting star...and much, much more. This peaceful, visually stunning story explores what happens at night when no one—well, almost no one—is watching.



Filled with the warmth of family and simple, daily life, this book shows that there's always something magical happening even when no one is watching.

A family goes through their daily life from evening to the next morning, eating, getting ready for bed and sleeping through the night. While the individual members are busy with their usual activities, the cat witnesses what goes on outside of the house. The wonders of nature are brought to life as the cat alone witnesses each event.

When I picked up this one, I was expecting a little more pizzazz, excitement or, at least, catching moments. Instead, this is a very gentle book, which hits upon the beauty of life. The family consists of a father, mother, older sister and a baby brother. They present a wholesome image as they conduct their meals, getting ready for bed, and then try to sleep through the night...which does have a couple very calm interruptions. The images and atmosphere is very loving, which offers the perfect background for the cat as it goes on its own adventure outside and witnesses sunsets, fireflies and other 'magical' moments.

The illustrations are lovely. While the home scenes carry many familiar things and present the family in a wonderful light, the scenes with the cat are simply beautiful. It flows right along with the text, which is perfect for the intended age group and never ways too heavy.

In these pages, it's shown that while we go about our usual lives, many wonderful things are happening, which we don't even notice. It encourages listeners to take occasional pauses and take a peek outdoors to see what they might miss out on otherwise. It's a calming book, great to read before nap time or bed time. While it might not become a favorite, it's one of those books that can easily be picked up, quickly read, and enjoyed.

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