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Kate & Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story

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When Pippin, a fawn abandoned by her mother, cries out for help, she is found by author Isobel Springett. After carrying the tiny fawn back to her home, Isobel places Pippin next to Kate, a Great Dane who has never had puppies of her own.

What follows is a remarkable and unlikely friendship. Kate successfully raises Pippin to be an independent deer, and Pippin always returns from the forest to visit her best friend.

With simple text and stunning photographs, Kate and Pippin, and their one-of-a-kind friendship, come to life in an irresistible way!

32 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2012

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About the author

Martin Springett

26 books6 followers
Martin Springett was born in Crayford, Kent, England, in 1947. He studied art (that is he learned to play the Guitar) for two semesters at the Brassey School of Art in Hastings, Sussex. He emigrated to the West Coast of Canada in 1965, but returned to the UK in 1973 to pursue music in various bands. He spent time in Germany, and toured through Europe.

While in London Martin started to illustrate and design record covers for Columbia records. Upon his return to Vancouver, Martin carried on with music and illustrated various books and magazines. In 1978 he moved to Toronto, maintaining activity in every area where illustration is required. He released his own album, "The Gardening Club", in 1983.

In 1984 Martin was commissioned to illustrate the cover of "The Summer Tree" by Guy Gavriel Kay. This and the subsequent volumes of The Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy were published around the world along with Martin's covers.

Martin continued his work in fantasy illustration, illustrating many covers for fantasy novels, including "The Traveller In Black" by John Brunner. In 1990 he illustrated his first childrens book, "Mei Ming and the Dragon's Daughter" written by Lydia Bailey. Martin has just finished illustrating his sixth childrens book, called "The Follower" by Richard Thompson. He has been nominated for various awards, including the Govenor Generals Award For Illustration. He has won the Aurora Award For Excellence in Fantasy Art, and two Silver Awrads from the Art Directors Club of Toronto and Best Classical Record Cover of The Year Award (UK).

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5 stars
135 (40%)
4 stars
133 (40%)
3 stars
56 (16%)
2 stars
6 (1%)
1 star
2 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 80 reviews
Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,012 reviews97 followers
February 6, 2017
Adorable story about a great dane and a fawn. Tons of pictures that kids love! Fantastic 5*****
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,008 reviews104 followers
May 21, 2019
Now I do well realise that Martin and Isobel Springett's (who are husband and wife, author and photographer) Kate & Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story is on the surface simply an adorable little tale about the true events of how the Springetts' Great Dane Kate basically adopted a seemingly abandoned newborn fawn (Pippin) and how the two then became inseparable. And while Isobel Springett's accompanying photographs are in my opinion really the star of the show, of the book, her husband Martin Springett's text is also delightful and sweet (a bit overly simple perhaps, but inherently lovely and optimistic), showing an inter-species friendship of two mammals (and as such two species that generally would be more likely to be predator and prey, a very large dog and a baby deer). And thus, if one in fact does not decide to dig any deeper, Kate and Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story is tenderness personified, presenting a caressingly positive and in all ways wonderfully shining little gem, perfect for children, for really anyone who enjoys and appreciates tales of unusual friendships.

However, there lurks much underneath the surface of Kate & Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story (and especially with regard to Isobel Springett's presented photographs) that as an adult reader and as an adult reader who has also read up on how one is supposed to approach newborn deer (fawns) I for one find potentially troubling and actually rather majorly infuriating even. Now I first became aware of the Springetts' "adopted" deer Pippin when the latter's friendship with the Springetts' Great Dane Kate was featured in a major Canadian newspaper a couple of years ago. Intrigued and because I absolutely adore deer (and often have new born fawns on my own property in the early summer) I decided to investigate and check Kate & Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story out of the library (both for personal interest but also because I was wondering why especially Isobel Springett was so adamant about the fact that Pippin was callously abandoned by the mother deer on their property and thus required rescuing and parenting).

And when I took a first gander, a first look at Kate & Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story and especially at the first featured photographs of Pippin, of the young and newborn fawn, I for one was simply aghast and furious at how intrusive Isobell Springett obviously had been simply in order to I guess get some sweet and cute "baby deer" pictures. The images clearly show a tiny fawn not more than a few hours old but at such close visual range that the photographer, that Ms. Springett had obviously been right in the poor creature's proverbial face so to speak, and I even tend to wonder if she had used her hands to manipulate, to strategically place the fawn into the most photogenic poses possible, and that this behaviour (or rather I should say likely behaviour as I realise I am indeed speculating a bit here) was also and rather probably the main cause for the mother doe abandoning the fawn (Pippin), for it is generally the case that fawns which have been disturbed, which have been handled by humans in any way are often, are more often than not then abandoned by their mothers as they are deemed by them to have been tainted, to have been made into a possible danger and inherent threat.

These first photographs alongside the accompanying narrative by Martin Springett that basically questions the doe's mothering instincts more than a bit and seems to indicate a lack of care and skills gave me a rather strongly negative attitude right from the start with regard to Kate & Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story (the sweetness and loveliness of the story itself and the fact that Pippin was successfully mothered and tended by Great Dane Kate notwithstanding), but I was still for all intents and purposes considering a low three star rating until I realised that upon Pippin's adoption, upon Pippin being taken in by the Springetts, they seem to have turned her into a dog-like pet and had even put a collar on her. And while many of the photographs of when Pippin gets older, when she is no longer a young fawn but a fully grown and once again wild but seemingly human habituated doe do have her appear without said collar, most of the photographs of Pippin as a newly adopted fawn feature a dog collar on her (something that I for one have found more than a bit troubling and something that at least to and for me, along with my questions as to how and why Pippin might have originally become abandoned on the Springetts' property in the first place, have made me now only consider a two star rating at best, although with the knowledge and realisation that my potential issues with Kate & Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story and with especially photographer Isobel Springett are subjective, personal and likely very much conjecture, but I still do stand with and by my opinions and considerations that there is something behind the photographs and behind the story of Kate and Pippin's friendship that to and for me personally is not altogether positive, altogether without issues and heavy duty problematic questions).
Profile Image for Lupine.
631 reviews2 followers
March 30, 2012
Oh for heaven sakes this book takes the cake for adorable! A great dane befriends a fawn? Seriously? Page after page of, "Awww! Sweet!" as I looked at the photographs(and think of the kismet that this fawn was discovered by a photographer with a very kind dog so this story was able to be told!) For those fans of other unlikely animal friendships such as Little Pink Pup and Owen and Mzee.
Profile Image for Vernon Area Public Library KIDS.
914 reviews36 followers
April 12, 2013
The gently told true story of an orphaned fawn and her adoptive Great Dane mother will enchant readers and listeners alike with it's charming story and intimate, colorful photographs.

Reviewed by: Lisa Marie Smith, Youth Services, Vernon Area Public Library
Profile Image for Aneesa.
1,329 reviews2 followers
February 2, 2020
Three-year-old loves: Cute baby animals, real photographs, asking questions about where the fawn's mom is. We have been playing Kate, Pippin, and Isobel all week. I woke up this morning to Everly calling me to get her out of her crib: "Isobel!"
Profile Image for Robyn.
134 reviews2 followers
March 14, 2013
As with the last few of these true story, animals befriending other animals stories...LOVED IT! Will continue to seek out more of the same stories because they are so freaking awesome!! They remind me of the time I saw a young cat in my yard hiding on and then jumping out and "attacking" a bunch of wild turkeys, over and over again...oh how I wish I would have caught that on tape!
191 reviews4 followers
March 18, 2013
This is one of the most adorable children's books. The story of a great dane, Kate, who mothers a fawn abandoned by her mother. The photos are precious. My girls loved this story.
Profile Image for Alyson.
813 reviews27 followers
April 5, 2013
You can't go wrong with a true story about a Great Dane mothering an orphan fawn - especially when the Great Dane is owned by a photographer. You will uh and aw on every page.
November 22, 2018
This fun loving true story will have readers in awe of the adorable yet unlikely friendship. Young kids and animal lovers will be delighted to hear the story of 2 very different animals coming together to support one another. This dog and doe have a remarkable bond and it's very impactful for young children to see a bond between such different breeds form, so they also know that they can form friendships in the most unlikely of places. Kids will of course be attracted to the real life photographs of the two so they can really experience the friendship where it takes place on the farm. The development of this friendship is fun to see as the two of them get older together and children will learn to that friendships last a lifetime.
Profile Image for Jaci Smith.
85 reviews
June 22, 2019
Wonderfully written story about animal adoption. Photography is beautiful in the illustrations. Kate is a Great Dane who adopts a baby fawn, Pippin, who has lost it's mother. This story shows how animals will raise each other, accept each other even if they aren't the same. Pippin is a deer not a dog but Kate doesn't care she raises her as her own baby. Kate is a dog not a deer but Pippin doesn't care she thinks of her as her mother. Great book for ages 4-12 text set: Non-traditional families, adoption, animals, friendships
1,957 reviews23 followers
June 4, 2020
Another adorable unlikely animal pair story. Super sweet - and a true story!! The pictures are just priceless. This would be a great title for a storytime on deer, dogs, farm or forest animals, or family. Or as a gift for an adult who needs a pick-me-up from a really crummy day (like I said, warm fuzzies all over!). Maybe make it a sampler set with Little Pink Pup?
Profile Image for Vicki.
305 reviews
November 9, 2018
I enjoyed using this in my Fall 2018 visit because its a nice example of a wild animal forming a bond with a domesticated animal and is a nice example of how a brother worked with his sister to create a book. Gail Frost brought it in to their first grade class and I somehow missed seeing that. I think the kids enjoyed seeing it again.
Profile Image for Dawn.
1,004 reviews7 followers
February 5, 2019
This kind of story always captures our hearts. We read this one because we are reading Bridge to Terabithia and Jess and Leslie are an unlikely friendship. I brought a bunch of Unlikely Friendships books to the classroom and after we read this story, they were snapped up!
March 29, 2019
I always love reading these adorable stories about animals finding unlikely friends. They brighten my day. This book will make you say,"Awwww," the whole way through.
Profile Image for Molly.
509 reviews1 follower
April 24, 2019
Cute. Cute, cute, cute! This is the story of a fawn that was raised by a dog, went back to the forest, but keeps returning to play with her momma dog.
66 reviews
July 28, 2013
Book 23 Bibliographic Citation:
Springett, M. (2012). Kate & Pippin: An unlikely love story. New York, NY: Henry Holt.

Age/Grade Level: (Ages 3–8, Preschool, Grades K–3)

A motherless fawn is adopted by a most unusual parent, a Great Dane named Kate. Their relationship is documented over Pippin’s growth from a fawn to an adult deer.

Awards/Reviewing Sources:
2014 Colorado Children’s Book Award Nominee
Booklist (September 1, 2012 (Vol. 109, No. 1))
Horn Book (Fall 2012)
Kirkus Reviews (January 15, 2012)
Publishers Weekly (January 2, 2012)
School Library Journal (April 1, 2012)

Curriculum Content/Standard for 21st Century Learner:
This book would serve as a great primary class read aloud. It would also support reading and writing instruction in sequencing, as this tale depicts through carefully planned photography the two years of a relationship that developed between two seemingly incompatible animals, from the birth of Pippin to her adulthood.

AASL Standard
4.1.5 Connect ideas to own interests and previous knowledge and experience.

20% of Database: Individuality (children in foster families)

Recommendation for student’s personal literature selection:
This book would capture the interest of any student who enjoys reading about dogs, or animals in general. It’s also a perfect read for students who need simple text that grasps a complex relationship and stretches prior knowledge.

Picture Book, Animal Story
Profile Image for Tasha.
4,115 reviews102 followers
April 27, 2012
When Pippin, a fawn, is abandoned by her mother, photographer Isobel Springett found her crying for help. She took Pippin home and placed her by Kate their old Great Dane. The two immediately bonded: Pippin thought she had found a new mother and Kate started to mother her even though she had never raised any puppies of her own. Pippin learned to drink from a bottle and when she got bigger started to adventure outside. One evening, Pippin disappeared into the forest and didn’t return for bedtime. Kate was very concerned, but the next morning Pippin came back just in time for breakfast. Pippin returned to the woods every night after that, returning to the farm almost every morning to eat and play. As she grew into an adult deer, she still continued to return to visit Kate and play. She even still comes into the house once in awhile for a visit.

Read the rest of my review on my blog, Waking Brain Cells.
Profile Image for Karen Burt.
65 reviews1 follower
June 25, 2013
This is an endearing story of friendship and bonding between two animals. Pippen, an abandoned fawn was taken in by the author, Springett who is the owner of a Great Dane, Kate. The two animals bonded instantly and Kate cared and nurtured the fawn, with the help of its master, until it was grown. Martin Springett lives in the country on the edge of a forest. As the fawn grew it spent the nights in the forest and came back to the house during the day to play with his Great Dane friend. Springette, occasionally invites the deer in the house to visit. Kate will always be Pippins mother and they will always have a special bond. Second through fifth graders will be memorized with this true story of survival and friendship.
Profile Image for Peacegal.
9,660 reviews83 followers
May 18, 2015
Filled with vivid photos, KATE & PIPPIN is the sweet true story of a senior Great Dane who became an adoptive mother to an orphaned fawn.

Readers young and old will be charmed by this adorable pair, and hopefully as they see the gangly-legged deer running and playing with the gangly-legged dog, they will stop and think about the individuality of animals who may be unfamiliar to us. We treasure our dogs, but too often see deer as nothing but targets, trophies, or pests.

For increased education and safety content, I do wish the authors would have noted that although Pippin was orphaned, most fawns we assume are "abandoned" are in actuality carefully hidden while they wait for their mothers to return. Attempting to rescue them can actually cause more harm than good.
Profile Image for ☺Trish.
1,092 reviews
July 19, 2014
Kate & Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story is an absolutely beautiful and heartwarming tale of the amazing bond that develops between a gentle giant, a Great Dane named Kate, and a tiny motherless fawn, Pippin. Kate's owner, Isobel Springett, named the fawn Pippin and fed her baby bottles full of sheep's milk. Isobel (an equestrian and professional photographer) took the photographs that document Kate and Pippin's story. Martin Springett, Isobel's brother and a published author, illustrator, and musician (his original music composed for Kate & Pippin is available on iTunes) wrote the story to go with the pictures.
Profile Image for Laura.
2,045 reviews41 followers
September 28, 2012
Pippin, a fawn abandoned by her mother in a forest, is adopted by a family. Kate, a Great Dane, becomes a mother and friend to the fawn. Though Pippin grows up to return to the forest, she continues to visit the dog and family.

A sweet story for animal and nature lovers. Best for students in Kindergarten and first grade, though older students may enjoy browsing through the pictures. I wish that the authors had included a brief note about deer or their experience adopting an animal. Otherwise, a solid and charming choice.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 80 reviews

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