An animal’s-eye view of a typical night on a farm.As Tessa, a little curly-haired, olive-skinned girl, her father, mother, and baby brother, Sam, progress through an evening, a night, and a morning, their yellow-eyed, marmalade tabby cat sees much that the humans miss. Following each refrain of “only the cat saw...” is a wordless, double-page spread of the cat prowling about: gazing at the sheep from the window; catching fireflies; watching an owl hunt a mouse; and more. After the tabby’s active night, the narrative shifts to Tessa’s perspective for a satisfying ending. Wolff’s spectacularly textured, highly saturated paintings show that cats who wander have lives all their own, independent of their owners. With these new illustrations accompanying a text first published in 1985, Wolff also offers intimate views of this multiracial family that are rarely illustrated in picture books: Readers see Tessa’s head and legs as she sits on the toilet at 2 a.m.; Mother nurses Sam in bed while Father sleeps. Since the book opens with Father hanging laundry on the clothesline while holding baby Sam in a baby carrier and ends with Father feeding Sam while Mother cooks breakfast, it seems that both parents take an equal share in raising the children and caring for the house.A beautiful, quiet, indoor-outdoor family story that will dazzle the eye and warm the heart. (Picture book. 3-5)
– Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW, March 15, 2020
Ever wondered what a pet sees? In this reillustrated version of her 1988 original, authorillustrator Wolff shows the world from a new perspective as she invites readers to explore everyday life from a cat's point of view. In this story, the cat in question lives with a loving family of four on a farm. During suppertime, the family sees the meal setup while the cat sees the sheep outside the window. At nighttime, the family is preoccupied with bath time or storytime, while the cat is eager to venture outdoors. When everyone finally sleeps, there are more scenes that can't be missed. The illustrations, newly painted for this edition, depict a family of color in the warmth of their home. The text encourages readers to complete the sentence "So only the cat saw . . ." by filling in the blank with their observations. Add it to the roster of bedtime stories alongside Margaret Wise Brown and Jerry Pinkney's A Home in the Barn (2018).
– Booklist, Online Exclusive, April 30, 2020