Cattaneo debuted in the field of illustration towards the end of 1949. His new job at the Istituto d’Arti Grafiche in Bergamo allowed him to continue his artistic research, also experimenting in the field of advertising graphics. His first illustrated plates for books for children and young people date back to the mid-Fifties and he often signed them with the pseudonym Picka or Pikka, an acronym combining the names Piero and Kikka, the nickname of his wife Francesca. Some of the most beautiful fairy tales in the famous Le fiabe sonore series published by Fratelli Fabbri bear this signature. Over the years, Cattaneo worked prolifically in the field of illustration, making him one of the leading figures in the history of Italian illustration in the second half of the 20th century.