Big Wishes for Little Feat

From debut author Cheryl Olsten, a picture book to inspire readers of any age to believe in their dreams.

A magical tale about facing the challenges life throws your way.

A horse named Lafitte De Muze, nicknamed Little Feat, and a young girl named Ella, who live on opposite sides of the world, are eventually brought together by a bit of fate, Ella’s quirky Aunt Anastasia, and a shooting star.

Little Feat’s lessons come early, as he learns to overcome challenges and turn disappointments into achievements. He rises to the occasion with a bit of determination and by not letting anything get in his way. Ella, with her bright, inquisitive mind and adventurous spirit, faces an unexpected journey that will change the course of her life forever. The two are brought together in the countryside of the Kingdom of Belgium by their love and awe of the beautiful stars and constellations, which Ella and Little Feat look to for inspiration and confidence.

A story about true friendship, facing and overcoming obstacles, and most importantly, always believing.

What People Are Saying

From the story, to the message it conveys, and the beautiful artwork, Big Wishes for Little Feat is a wonderful book that should be added to your child’s bookshelf! The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and really add a dreamy feel to the whole story. Any child who loves horses will certainly adore this story as will any child that loves to dream.
—Feathered Quill Book Reviews

Cheryl Olsten’s children’s story, Big Wishes for Little Feat, is full of wishes and dreams and the power of believing. Using beautiful, colorful illustrations and the skill of an expert storyteller, the plot develops in a third-person narrative beginning with Lafitte’s story and then Ella’s, until the two connect and bond. The story is told with compassion and will help young readers really believe in themselves and their dreams and to have the courage to follow their dreams. Most of the story is narrated but there is sufficient, well-executed dialogue to help carry the tale along. The young reader will be instantly drawn into the warmth of this inspiring little story. A real treasure.
—Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite

Seeing that the story is based on a real horse in the first few pages of the book makes the tale even more heartwarming than it already is. Even though Little Feat is very real, he stands as a metaphor for reaching for the stars—one that is bound to inspire and give hope to those of all ages. On top of Olsten’s wonderful and rich writing, Paolo d’Altan’s illustrations work in sync, bringing as much magic and awe to the page as every word. Furthermore, d’Altan uses a warm palette of colors that creates vivid and smooth illustrations that are bound to fill any child’s heart with adoration just as profoundly as Little Feat’s dreams and determination.
—Reviewed by Yousra Medhkour for US Review of Books

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About the Author
Cheryl Olsten

I grew up on the north shore of Long Island. New York City was just a short train ride away, and I would get there as often as possible once I was old enough to travel on my own. Determined to learn everything about photography and magazine journalism, I signed up for classes taught by prominent editors, and courses at the International Center of Photography and NYU. When it came time for college, I enrolled at Syracuse University’s School of Visual Communications. The professors and experience were invaluable and I learned a lot during my time there.

In the early 80’s, I moved to Pennsylvania, just across the Delaware River from New Jersey.  After starting a family, I freelanced for a few regional magazines and fell in love with NJ’s surprisingly varied and unexpectedly pretty countryside. In 1999, determined to share this “other side” of The Garden State, I put my knowledge of visual communications to work and launched​ New Jersey Life ​magazine. New Jersey resident and cosmetics industry icon, Bobbi Brown, graced our inaugural cover. A few years later, we launched a second magazine, ​New Jersey Life Health and Beauty. During my twelve years as publisher, with each new issue the editorial staff and I collaborated with award-winning freelance writers, photographers and illustrators to bring our vision to life.

My fondness for the written word developed further in the company of NJL’s talented editorial team and the notable freelance writers, whose unique approaches brought credence to our storytelling. I have no doubt some of those editors and writers whose writing style I admired back then, shaped the voice that has developed in me as I craft these children’s stories today.

I still live across the Delaware River from New Jersey in New Hope, Pennsylvania with my husband, Steven, and our sweet pup, Nugget. We have three wonderful grown children, with whom many of our fondest memories are exploring shelves full of imaginative and awe-inspiring books like ​Dr. Seuss, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Giving Tree, Where the Wild Things Are, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Polar Express, Harry Potter.

It’s all come full circle for me and I feel very lucky to be combining my skills, passion, and professional experience. As I write these stories, channeling my own inner child, I hope they will one day keep the company of similarly captivating books, feeding the imagination of curious children just like ours.

Member: Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators

About Lafitte De Muze

Laffite is a Belgian Warmblood, that I purchased in late 2018. He is a very successful show hunter, who loves people and his job.

Lafitte’s prize monies are donated to the EQUUS Foundation.

The EQUUS Foundation is the only national animal welfare in the United States 100% dedicated to protecting America’s horses and strengthening the bond between horses and people.

It’s been very gratifying knowing that Lafitte’s prize monies are going towards saving horses in need. I’m sure if he knew, he would feel very proud too.

About the Illustrator
Paolo D’altan

I was born in Milan, Italy, where I work and live with my family (human and feline). When I was little, my father designed planes for my brothers and myself, and our “American aunt” gifted us our portraits on huge sheets of paper, which definitely had some influence on us; I was always drawing abstruse cartoons with my brothers. When I think of the illustrations from my childhood and adolescence, what comes to mind is an exhaustive, though not exactly chronological, list of colorful illustrations of underwater life, famous illustrators from Italy and elsewhere, and cinema in general. I thought I’d become a cartoonist, and for years, I drew only in black and white. After studying the classics in high school, art school introduced me to colors, and from then on, I haven’t stopped experimenting with diverse, expressive possibilities through traditional and digital techniques.

After studying classically and teaching myself fundamentally, I approached color by studying illustration in the fantastic setting of Castello Sforzesco in Milan. I have been working for advertising agencies in Italy, magazines, publishers, and illustrating children’s books and classic novels, affirming myself as one of the leading Italian illustrators. My work has been featured in both Italian and international exhibitions and selected and awarded in illustration annuals. I have served as President of the Italian Association of Illustrators.


I can’t wait to hear from you!