When Findus Was Little and Disappeared

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Do you think it is OK for a grown-up to feel jealous of a green-eyed cat?

But, wait. I am getting ahead of myself.

This week I am reviewing a fantastically illustrated read-aloud book that my kids adore although I never read it aloud to them.

This vibrant book about an old farmer and his talented cat was authored and illustrated by one of the most significant Swedish illustrators for children - Sven Nordqvist. 

(Interesting titbit: Sven Nordqvist studied architecture and worked as a lecturer in architecture at Sweden's Lund University before launching his career as an illustrator of children’s books almost three decades ago!)


Today, I felt a good old pang of jealousy and the object of my jealousy is a little, funnily dressed cat named Findus.

Although experts say that a competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy, I know I am deeply envious every time my wife picks up a Pettson & Findus book to read aloud.

My lovely wife ordered this comical and colourful jewel some six months ago and presented it to our twins, but I am virtually banned from reading it aloud.

(We are trying to raise our kids in a bilingual home, so we agreed that my wife would communicate and read books in her mother tongue to our kids, while I get the easier job of communicating and reading in English)

Unluckily for me, she did not buy the English version of When Findus Was Little and Disappeared.

This means that I am now relegated to spectator status while the rest of the house rolls with laughter when they read about every new adventure of Pettson and Findus.

There are 9 fabulous titles written about Pettson and Findus and these books have been translated into more than 40 different languages.

We already have three Pettson and Findus books, while two more of them will be Christmas presents to my twins. (Don’t tell them, please!).

Pettson and Findus live together in a small house near the forest and, when Pettson isn’t
busy inventing some new machine or baking pancakes, they do fun things together, like camping by the lake, bullfighting in the pasture or… going to the moon.

When Findus Was Little and Disappeared is the first book (chronologically) in the nine-book series, in which readers are introduced to Pettson and Findus and how they got to live together. This book was the last one published in Sweden.

The remaining ones are:

2. Pancakes for Findus

3. Findus and the Fox

4. Findus at Christmas

5. A Rumpus in the Garden

6. Festus and Mercury: Wishing to go Fishing

7. Findus Goes Camping

8. The Mechanical Santa

9. The Rooster’s Minute

It may be best to introduce your little bookworms to the incongruous pair via this book that I am reviewing now - When Findus Was Little and Disappeared.

A typical two page spread
from the Pettson and Findus books
The tale begins in a charming manner with little Findus begging his friend Pettson to retell him “the story of when Findus got lost”.

So Pettson acquiesces ... “Once upon a time there was an old man named Pettson...” his yarn goes.

It’s a story of an old, lonely man who lived only with his hens.

One day a neighbour brings him a cardboard box of Findus brand canned green peas. Inside – no peas, but a little kitten to keep him company.

Hello Findus, hello my little pea,” said Pettson as he felt the same feeling that you experience when you pull up the shutters in a summer morning and warm light floods the room.

Findus is a talking little kitten, who is more than an equal to Pettson and this releases a flood of emotions in the solitary old man who spills out his soul to Findus.

Green-eyed Findus changes the old man’s isolated life for the better, but one day ... Findus gets lost.

Petson showing Findus around his house
After numerous adventures in the yard, the book ends on a happy note with Pettson finding little Findus hiding in a little box in the garden and the warm friendship is strengthened even further.

In addition to the humour and charming rapport between the main protagonists, I was bowled over by Nordqvist’s creation for its oversized warm-colored pictures and perfect marriage between text and illustrations.

When Findus Was Little and Disappeared is overflowing with little charming details across its pages, which makes every new read a distinct pleasure.

This absurd tale is a great tribute to true friendship and respect between individuals. It is certain to make adults and kids laugh, while the tiny details on the pages provide rich entertainment and a relaxed comical setting to the story.

I can't wait until my kids unpack their Christmas presents and my wife starts reading the new Pettson and Findus adventures!

(Lest I forget, my wife’s favorite Findus adventure is Pancakes for Findus).

I'll ask my twins for their favorite Findus tale after Christmas.

Have you ever read a Findus book?

When Findus Was Little and Disappeared is available from bookstores in the US:


The Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)

and other countries:

Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon DE

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