Nini Lost and Found

( 1 )

Overview

A simple—and simply beautiful—story for young cat lovers.

One beautiful autumn day, Nini, a little tabby cat, sees that the door is open. The garden and nearby woods seem to beckon her to explore. Nini thinks the great outdoors is really, really, really nice . . . until night falls and strange animals begin sniffing and hooting and lurking about. Suddenly there is no place like home. This warm and reassuring picture book speaks to children whose curiosity has tempted them to ...

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Overview

A simple—and simply beautiful—story for young cat lovers.

One beautiful autumn day, Nini, a little tabby cat, sees that the door is open. The garden and nearby woods seem to beckon her to explore. Nini thinks the great outdoors is really, really, really nice . . . until night falls and strange animals begin sniffing and hooting and lurking about. Suddenly there is no place like home. This warm and reassuring picture book speaks to children whose curiosity has tempted them to “run away” from home. Caldecott Honor Book artist Anita Lobel’s illustrations have never been more beautiful. Endearing portraits of her own beloved Nini cat in a lush autumnal setting will gladden the hearts of cat lovers of all ages.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Inspired by the adventures of Caldecott Honor–winning Lobel's own cat, the story opens as Nini, the striped tabby from Nini Here and There, spies a door ajar one day, "when the sky was very blue and the world outside was more inviting than ever." After venturing out, the cat looks back on her owners' farmhouse and recalls its comforting pleasures. But the outdoors beckons ("What soft mosses. What great leaves. What good tree trunks"), until night falls and the sight and sounds of threatening animals scare her into hiding. Hearing her family calling for her, Nini eventually summons the courage to dash home. Nini's mood-swinging interior monologue is endearing, and even more memorable are her dramatic facial expressions, ranging from fearful to entirely contented. Lobel's signature flowers are in full bloom--indoors and out--in her painterly gouache and watercolor art. Children won't need to be cat lovers to identify with Nini's tug-of-war between the familiarity and safety of home and the call of the wild--"Oh, but it was great out here." Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Nini, Lobel's appealing young cat, heroine of Nini Here and There, sees the door open and goes out to explore the inviting world outside. Looking back, she recalls how cozy her house is inside, but she finds that she likes grass and the flowers in the garden as well. She wanders away, through the woods, seeing the "interesting little creatures," but not realizing how far she has come. When darkness begins to fall, Nini sees strange shapes and hears strange noises. An owl hoots, an animal barks, another growls. Nini is afraid. She hides in a hole, wanting to be home. Then she hears familiar voices calling her. Bravely she runs toward them back home. She is scolded, but she is sorry and glad to be welcomed back to her cozy home, at least "for now." The front and back end pages display sensuous, intensely colored, naturalistic, gouache and watercolor paintings. The front shows the interior of the house full of feline comforts, while the back is a lush scene of the blooming yard to which Nini may be tempted to return. We experience Nini's emotions as she enjoys the daylight hours but then feel the fears of the darkness and are glad to see her safely home. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
Temptation leads Nini the tabby cat out an open door, away from her cozy house, through a vibrant garden and beyond, into dark woods. Nini's comfortable, compartmentalized indoor life appears in appropriately rigid, rectangular panels at the beginning of her story; she sits by the fire, curls in a tangle of yarn, snuggles in a quilt, all within safe little boxes. As she meanders through the garden's long grasses and bright zinnias, however, straight, structured boundaries give way to floating, sunny scenes on white space. Nini thinks, "Oh, this is really, really, really nice." Upon her entrance into the wild woods, whiteness completely disappears; branches, brambles and animals consume double-page spreads, running right off the borders. Night falls, and the watercolor-and-gouache paintings turn dark and dizzying; their once-charming intricacy sours into sickening confusion. Poor Nini! Lobel captures a cat's clear, opinionated and lovably hedonistic thinking in her simple storytelling. She also introduces the joys of home, the thrill of freedom and the scariness of the unknown to young readers, who will strain to hear the calls of Nini's owners in the night. (Picture book. 4-8)
From the Publisher
"There is just enough tension for the preschool audience here, but the pictures, even the semi-scary nighttime spreads, are too bountifully warm to leave anything but a happy ending in doubt." --The Horn Book, starred
-The Horn Book, starred

"It's almost impossible to glimpse Nini the tabby cat on the cover of Lobel's new book and not open it." The New York Times

"Told with an elegant simplicity that children will appreciate, this is filled with Lobel's endearing watercolor-and-gouache artwork, with big swirls of emotion and the tiniest nod of relief in a little cat's upturned lip. A wonderful read-aloud, with the length of the text, the size of the art, and the adventure of the tale all being just right." Booklist, starred

"Lobel captures a cat’s clear, opinionated and lovably hedonistic thinking in her simple storytelling. She also introduces the joys of home, the thrill of freedom and the scariness of the unknown to young readers, who will strain to hear the calls of Nini’s owners in the night." Kirkus, starred

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—The feline heroine of Nini Here and There (Greenwillow, 2007) is back in a book that captures all of the charm of its predecessor. When a door is accidently left open, Nini seizes the opportunity to explore a world that is wider and wilder than the familiar, cozy confines of her own house. The foliage and critters lure her farther away, and Nini revels in their delights until night falls. Suddenly, what was welcoming and beautiful becomes menacing to the little cat. But all ends well, with a philosophical Nini reflecting that there still might be more adventures in her future. The feline's world, both inside and out, is full of lush details that Lobel renders with gouache and watercolor illustrations. Although the illustrations are heavily detailed and full of things to see, the pages do not appear cluttered because of the white space that frames each picture. The white space disappears once night falls and the pictures, suitably, feel claustrophobic. Nini's own epiphany is best revealed by the two window shots that open and close the book; the title page shows her in close-up, sitting in a window, gazing out. She is framed by the sill, boxed in, and safe. The final image is Nini again in that window, but the perspective is from across the yard, so that she is but a small creature gazing upon the outside landscape that dominates the scene. This is an attractive, quiet book to share with young adventurers.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375858802
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/14/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 944,060
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Anita Lobel, illustrator of more than 40 picture books, including the Caldecott Honor Book On Market Street and A New Coat for Anna, has also written and illustrated two other books starring her cat, Nini: One Lighthouse, One Moon and Nini Here and There, “an exemplar of all a picture book can be,” said Daniel Pinkwater on NPR. Her YA memoir, No Pretty Pictures, was a National Book Award Finalist.
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2013

    Warriors and apprentices

    MossKit-Paw-Cliff <br>
    SilentKit-Paw-Streak <br>
    SharpKit-Paw-Moon <br>
    CoyoteKit-Paw-Howl <br>
    BluePaw-BlueSpirit <br>
    AutumnPaw-AutumnMask

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