Springetts Spring to Success With Kate and Pippin

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Stories of animals becoming friends are cute. When the animals are different species, the stories are even more touching.

Stories of animals becoming friends are cute. When the animals are different species, the stories are even more touching. That’s the case with the Kate and Pippin books written and illustrated by the brother and sister duo of Martin and Isobel Springett.

They were in Denver February 4-7 for the CCIRA 2015 Conference on Literacy to talk about their two books: “Kate and Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story” and the sequel “Kate and Pippin’s Family.”

The stories are about a 3-day-old fawn that was abandoned by her mother and wandered onto Isobel’s property in Vancouver Island, Canada. Isobel saw that the fawn needed help and brought her inside. She wasn’t sure how her Great Dane, Kate, would react. Kate sniffed the fawn, and before long, the fawn was snuggling next to Kate like she was her own mother.

Isobel thought it was a good idea for the fawn to sleep in the woods, even though she worried they would never see her again. But the fawn came back every morning. Eventually, Isobel named her Pippin.

Isobel, a professional photographer, took around 2,000 pictures and emailed about 20 of them to Martin, a children’s book author, illustrator and musician. He saw a book in them right away. He and Isobel picked the best photos, and he wrote the book based on those.

It was the best-selling of the four children’s books he’s written. The success of the book surprised them. “With any creative effort, a lot of the time you don’t know what you’re doing or where you’re going,” said Martin.

After completing the book, they went to their agent and tried to get it published. Orca, Scholastic and Simon & Schuster turned it down. Penguin/Puffin Books finally published it. Martin said, “Having the little puffin next to our names is a real thrill!”

After the book was published, many big-name TV channels picked up the story such as BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, PBS and others. Even though the picture book is for ages 4-8, people of all ages around the world have fallen in love with Kate and Pippin.