April issue of School Library Journal.
Great Dane mothering an abandoned fawn is the heart of this truly delightful photo essay. Left alone in the forest for three days, the young deer is rescued and brought indoors. Enter Kate, a “puppy-less” Great Dane, who takes over for the missing doe. Gradually Pippin learns how to feed from a bottle of sheep’s milk and play with her surrogate mother. As she grows, she begins to separate herself from Kate. She no longer sleeps inside, preferring to spend nights in the forest, reappearing every morning to be fed. Pretty soon Pippin’s spots disappear. Eventually she is the same size as Kate. She can forage for her food. Readers learn that while Pippin enjoys the friendship of Kate and Henry the cat, she is free to rejoin life in the forest.
Large close-up shots of Pippin and Kate document their relationship. The simple text is perfect for young readers and listeners to grasp the experience of the rescue without drama. Pippin doesn’t continue to live in the house or become a pet. She returns to the wild as is her destiny. Young animal lovers will also enjoy other true accounts about unusual animal friendships such as Isabella Hatkoff’s Owen and Mzee (Scholastic, 2006), Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen’s Itsy Bitsy and Teeny Weeny (Sleeping Bear, 2009), and Catherine Thimmesh’s Friends (Houghton Harcourt, 2011).
A fine addition to nonfiction collections and useful for themed storytimes on friendships.
–Nancy Baumann, University of Missouri-Columbia