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Nini Lost and Found
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Nini Lost and Found (Nini)

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  187 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Childrens Librarian
Nov 16, 2010 Childrens Librarian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jp
Anybody who has ever spent a worrisome evening looking/waiting/calling for a cat to return will be able to relate to this charming picture book quite easily. While the text is neatly written it's the beautiful paintings that drive the book. Especially effective are the inviting images of home with the warm colors and bright white borders that soon change and overwhelm every inch of the page as our cat disappears into the scary outside world. But soon the bright white returns as our little kitty ...more
Nov 19, 2010 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This second book about Nini the cat follows the award-winning Nini Here and There that won a Caldecott Honor in 2007. In this book, Nini discovered that the door to the house has been left open and escaped out into the garden. While the house was cozy, the outdoors was also fun. There were grasses, flowers, and an entire woods to explore. But when night falls, the woods became more frightening, darker and filled with noises that could be large animals coming after her. Nini hid under a tree, but ...more
Sep 28, 2011 Candice rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sophie
Shelves: picture-books
Nini the cat sees an open door and ventures outdoors. While she loves her home with its cozy fireplace, soft couch, and big quilt, the unknown calls to her. Once outside she finds grasses teasing her nose, soft mosses, and lovely flowers. She walks, then runs through the outdoors, and it is so exciting. But then as daylight begins to fade and darkness to fall, Nini smells danger and wants go go home. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous - lots of color and detail in the striped tabby cat, ...more
Angela Skeie
Feb 17, 2011 Angela Skeie rated it it was amazing
A stunningly beautiful book. I got this one right after it was published, and unfortunately days before our cat who looks just like Nini died quite untimely. William is still sad about it, and still talks about it from time to time, and for this reason I have not yet read the book to him. I don’t want him to get the wrong message, that Nini came home, and perhaps our cat can, too. So here it sadly sits on the shelf. I think even with more time it will still make him sad, worrying about poor Nini ...more
Jan 05, 2011 Alicia rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
This book is one of our Mock Caldecott contenders but, honestly, I was unimpressed. The story was not very fresh, and the illustrations were nice but not strikingly so. I was turned off by the repeated use of the phrase "bad animals", the animals that were potentially preying on Nini. It bothers me when children's books portray predators as evil or mean or bad. It is the food chain, the cycle of life, not a matter of good vs. bad. Children will have a much better and healthier view of the world ...more
Karen Arendt
Dec 28, 2010 Karen Arendt rated it it was amazing
Such a simple story about a cat who sees the front door open and explores the wide open world, enjoying the outdoors until it gets dark and scary. The illustrations are beautiful. The white space around each illustration adds to the effect of day and the dark background on the entire page effectively protrays night time. My favorite illustration is when Nini doesn't know what to do with herself, lost outdoors. All you see are three little pictures on black background with Nini's face peeking ...more
Nov 10, 2010 Alyson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Hurray for Nini! It gets a little scary outside, but Nini makes it back home safe and sound. I love how the illustrations change as Nini's world expands. Nice tidy boxes for her cozy home, slightly more open as she ventures into the garden, full and wild when she is in the woods.
Sep 27, 2015 Josiah rated it liked it
If you're judging just by the illustrations, then I honestly can't see any book but Nini Lost and Found having been the best choice for the 2011 Caldecott Medal. Author/illustrator Anita Lobel had been at her work of creating picture books for decades at this point, but it's obvious that as of 2010 she hadn't lost as much as a single brushstroke from her awesome artistic ability. The artwork in Nini Lost and Found sets the moods of the story to perfection, creating a real feeling of light and h ...more
Jan 12, 2012 David rated it really liked it
Nini Lost and Found by Anita Lobel is the story of a little cat who runs out through an open door, into the garden and then the woods. Scary sounds and strange animals convince Nini that there's no place like time.

After hesitating briefly, Nini runs out an open door and is in the
amazing outdoors with not only a garden but an entire woods to explore.
As night falls, however, strange animals begin sniffing, hooting and lurking about. Nini hides in a hollow tree until, hearing her name being called
Aug 19, 2013 Asho rated it it was amazing
This book was in our cat book bundle from the library. In each of these bundles there are always one or two picture books that stand out and that I think I'd like to own for our home library someday, and this was a stand-out in our most recent bundle.
The text was sweet. It wasn't particularly special, but it wasn't obnoxious or dull, either. I appreciate that the cat is named Nini, something very easy for my 18 month-old to repeat when I would say it (it helps, perhaps, that he's in a phase righ
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Ok, I liked the book immediately just for the cute picture of Nini, who looks like my cat Dusty. A typical cat, she sneaks outside when the door is left open and discovers that the world holds both scary and nice things. The pictures are colorful, and I especially like the one at the end, where Nini, back home cozily curled up in a drawer, is surrounded by cat bookends, cat wallpaper, and books on the dresser with titles like "Cats," "I Love Kitties," and "Stay Home," reflecting the thoughts in ...more
Oct 10, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
I have to admit that I'm a sucker for books featuring cats. I love cats, and so do our girls. So I was thrilled when our oldest brought this book home from her elementary school library. The narrative is simple and the paintings are gorgeous. I really like that the book is based on a real cat's adventures at the author's country home in Vermont. We loved the details in the illustrations and would look and point out all of the creatures and interesting things we found. It's a good book to read ...more
Wooden Horse
Mar 29, 2012 Wooden Horse rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Oops! I renamed the main character "Nina" and didn't realize my error until nearly the last page. Sorry! The nearly three year old that I read it to had lots of questions throughout the book. He noticed that there were two cats on the dedication page and kept asking where the other cat was. He also wanted to know who the family was at the end of the book and loved looking for all of the semi-hidden animals on the nighttime pages. I liked all of the references to stories featuring cats in the ...more
Feb 18, 2011 Janet rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jessica
Yes, this is the typical indoor cat goes outside, has adventure, returns home. However, what distinguishes this title is Anita Lobel's illustrations. Done in gouche and watercolors, these colors are totally vibrant and what makes a great picture book is when there is more in the pictures than the text and this one definately has that. Anita Lobel has had a long career in children's book illustration and she still has the touch, one can see development in her art! I'm glad she is still creating.
현순 최
Mar 12, 2014 현순 최 rated it liked it
Shelves: animals
This book has a simple story, but its pictures is described beautifully. Nini is a very cute cat. One fine day, she is fulled of curious about the world outside. As she is away from the house, she recognize a nice, cozy house looking back. She also thinks that outside world is great, but when darkness began to fall, she felt scared. After all, she knows it's nice for her to come back home. It's just simple, plain story, but children can be interested in reading this book. It's not boring to look ...more
When Nini sees the door has been left open, she sneaks out of her house to explore. This book is great for lessons on prepositions and/or sensory detail: "down the stairs", "out onto the deck", "by the fireplace", "in the tickly yarn","on the soft couch", "under the big quilt", "grasses teasing her nose". I love Anita Lobel's flowers, too - it'd be fun to use pastels or other saturated color media to create a picture and have students label it "Nini is under the yellow tulips", etc.
Jan 02, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was ok
I wasn't crazy about this story. First of all, was it justme or did Nini the ca seem out of proportion? Maybe this is Lobel's style, but there were parts of the illustrations that seemed child-like to me. The story was ok - housecoat sees an open door and ventures outside which is all fine and well until nightfall. I agree with the other reviews who were turned off by the repeated term of "bad" animals. As in the animals who would love to eat a housecoat for dinner. Not my favorite.
When the door to her house is left open Nini cat decides to go exploring one day. Don't get her wrong, she loves her house. But A change of scenery could be interesting. Nini cat finds that she loves it outside, until it gets dark. After dark lots of scary animals come out and chase her. When she sees the light from home and warm voices calling her Nini cat makes a dash back to the house and is glad to be home.
Sep 28, 2010 Joy rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, cats
Nini loves her cozy home but discovers the outdoors is quite nice too one beautiful day. That is until darkness grows and prowling nighttime animals frighten our exploring cat. Fortunately for Nini, she is very loved and her family calls out to her in the night to guide her back home. It’s a great picture book for young cat lovers. And like Nini Here and There, the illustrations are detailed and lovely. 3.5 stars.
Julia Jasztal
Mommy's review from 9/30/11 -

I loved the coloring in the illustrations here but I didn't care for how they were broken up. I can't complain too much because they did pare well with how the story was written.
This is a very simple story of a cat who leaves her home and on her short adventure she finds some things she likes - and some things she doesn't.
Nini gets home safely of course and all is well. The story is very short with the text being larger than usual.
Judy Desetti
Feb 06, 2011 Judy Desetti rated it liked it
I liked this read. I had an immediate connection to it since I had a cat who was lost and found. My cat was lost for 40 days. Still the premise of the book is one I think kids can relate to. The illustrations were beautiful. It looks like a good read aloud.

I got star reviews by Booklist and Kirkus. SLJ gave it a very good review.
Amianne Bailey
Sep 19, 2011 Amianne Bailey rated it it was amazing
1st & 2nd Read-Aloud: BEAUTIFULLY illustrated book that the kids adored. First, I showed a nonfiction book about pet cats and we looked at some of the text features. Then read Nini and talked about the qualities that made it a fiction book. Also made predictions and looked at how the pictures enhanced the story. One of my new favorites!

Gets kind of dark, folks. Sure, Lobel takes you back into the light, but the message of home being safe and the outside being dangerous is strongly at play. I'm OK with that, but not exactly the happy little cat romp I expected.
Karlie Bevan
Oct 13, 2013 Karlie Bevan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ch-02-award
This book is good! It is great to read with small children. The words are small enough that even children just learning to read could read. The plot of the story was so great and so cute. This would be a great book to read to any small child.
Sep 23, 2010 Tracie rated it liked it
Shelves: picture_books
I'm not a cat person, but this is cute: a cozy story about Nini, the kitty, who slips out the open front door and has big adventures...only to realize, at nightfall, that home is the best place for her afterall.
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Dec 27, 2011 Randie D. Camp, M.S. rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, lobel
Nini the cat loves her home but when her owners leave the door wide open she goes outside and plays in the garden. Nini ventures even farther from her home--into the woods. There is so much to explore. Soon it is dark and the woods are no longer nice, it is scary. Will Nini find her way back home?
Jun 01, 2010 Stacy268 rated it really liked it
Nini decides to explore the outdoors, and before she knows it she's lost and it's dark! Of course Nini finds her way home (with some help from her owner's voices). The real beauty of this book are the GORgeous illustrations. Atmospheric and detailed.
Nini the cat loves her home, but she finds new sights and smells when she ventures into the woods. Great word choices and numerous examples of fragments, prepositional phrases, and active verbs provide teachable moments in context.
Ms. B
Sep 04, 2011 Ms. B rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture, 2011
Young readers who like cats will enjoy this story of Nini who escapes from her indoor home to the great outdoors, only to discover that sometimes home is best.
Nov 16, 2012 Bree rated it it was ok
Shelves: preschool-books, cats
illustrations were very pretty
story wasn't our favorite
kids didn't like animals being called bad
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Anita Lobel is an illustrator of children's books. Her memoir that depicts her childhood of flight and imprisonment in Nazi-occupied Poland, ''No Pretty Pictures'' was a finalist for the National Book Award.

She has also received the Caldecott Honor Medal.
More about Anita Lobel...

Other Books in the Series

Nini (3 books)
  • One Lighthouse, One Moon
  • Nini Here and There

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