• Picture Book Snob

Crunchy Leaves, Cute Cats and Perfect Pumpkins

Ollie's Lost Kitten by Nicola Killen

A little girl helps a lost kitten find its way home in this adorable story infused with the cosiness and comfort of a crisp autumn day. There are golden leaves on every page, and you can almost hear them rustle. There is a gleam of moonlight and a hint of magic too.


Silver cobwebs glisten against a dark background. Orange leaves, stars, and pumpkins glow against a palette of black, white and grey. They're illuminated further by the copper foil that is delicately sprinkled throughout the book.


The illustrations are wonderfully atmospheric, with a soft and serene quality. The text is gentle and poetic. The wind whistles, cats purr, and leaves gently whirl and settle. Ollie's world is evoked convincingly, and you really feel like you have entered it.

There are cut-outs on some of the pages, making the story interactive and even more intriguing for curious little readers. We loved catching a glimpse of the kitten's owner through a window as Ollie cuddles up with her own cat after their exciting adventure. Ollie is extremely cute, especially in her costume, and so are her cat Pumpkin and the kitten she rescues.

Ollie's Lost Kitten is a story that cat-lovers will appreciate. Apart from the real-life cats, we see more on missing posters, the cover of Ollie’s book, and in drawings and paintings in her house. There's even a cat cuddly toy, a mug and a pumpkin with a feline face.


This is Ollie's third adventure, she has also appeared in Ollie's Magic Bunny and Ollie's Christmas Reindeer. Nicola Killen has written and illustrated all three as well as 15 other picture books, but before embarking on a career as an artist, she almost became an accountant! When Nicola was studying her MA in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art, her final show won Egmont's Best New Talent Award. If you'd like to learn more about Nicola, you can read an interview she did with Lovereading4kids here.

Ollie's Lost Kitten is our first story about Ollie, and our first Nicola Killen book too, but we will definitely be getting more. My three and five-year-olds loved this, and it would also be suitable for younger readers. There's not much text on each page, making this is a great book for toddlers, and the striking illustrations will appeal to babies too.


The Halloween theme is quite subtle, so Ollie's Lost Kitten could be enjoyed all year round. Although, if you are looking for a story that perfectly complements the season of crunching leaves and radiant pumpkins, then this is the book for you.

Title: Ollie's Lost Kitten

Author & Illustrator: Nicola Killen

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Publication Date: 1st October 2020

ISBN: 9781471167980