Laurence Pringle

Children's Books and School Author Visits

Click on a title below, and read the story behind the book!

"This book--true to its sweeping subject matter--is swift, exacting, and sure to hook any reader."--Booklist "A great purchase for report writers, budding ornithologists, and generally curious readers."--SLJ
"Another winner in a long series of engaging, informative invitations to explore the natural world." --Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
A "picture-book equivalent of watching a nature documentary."--School Library Journal
"Budding arachnologists will find this an enlightening introduction."--Kirkus
"A coolly fascinating, nostalgic glimpse into life as it was over a century ago." --Kirkus Reviews
"A must-have addition to science collections." --Booklist
"intelligent..eye-catching..readable lodestone for researchers." Starred review, School Library Journal
Paperback--the most unusual dinosaur book ever published!
The most comprehensive children's book about these amazing insects! "Smoothly written, beautifully illustrated"--School Library Journal
"An amazing nonfiction children's book"--Midwest Book Review
"A especial treat for young dragon lovers." --Midwest Book Review
"Words and stirring pictures focus on the role of the powerful black man on the thrilling journey...he is hailed as a national hero." -- Booklist
"Pringle's succinct text provides an engaging overview of penguin life...even penguin fans will find something new." -- Booklist
"Even readers fearful of snakes may find the subject a little less strange, a little more wonderful." -- Booklist
"Presented with respect for the subject and for the audience, this is one of the best of the many bat books, especially for a somewhat younger audience." --Booklist
"The lucid text and elegant illustrations march in perfect step, creating an attractive fusing of art and information." --School Library Journal
"An exemplary nature-study book--accurate, explicit, and satisfyingly complete." School Library Journal
"Full of adventure and excitement, this book contains a wonderful mix of intriguing stories and historical facts."
--Childhood Education
"A poetic text...A wonderful choice to share with children before a summer vacation or to use as an introduction to an ecology unit." --School Library Journal
"A superb, well-researched book that finds extraordinary science in the everyday life of a butterfly."
--Kirkus Reviews
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Picture Book Fiction
"A likable book that's sure to start kids romping, and maybe their parents, too."--Kirkus

LAURENCE PRINGLE'S BLOG

"Bear-Infested" Forest

June 8, 2016

Recently there was a news story of parents who chose to punish their son by leaving him by the road in a forest in Japan. They drove off. When they returned a few minutes later, their kid was gone. And he wasn't found (safe) for almost a week!

News reports didn't just say it was a forest. It was described as a BEAR-INFESTED forest. Oh, my! And every year there are news reports that describe a wetland as alligator-infested, or a swamp as snake-infested. In other words, wild animals live there, in their natural habitat. INFESTED?! Sometimes I'm tempted to take the side of native wildlife, and write about HUMAN-INFESTED habitat.

From a Student in Mexico

June 6, 2016

In late May a Mexican student reached me (via this web site) to ask a question. In his English class he had read some information about bats, written by me. For his homework he wanted more information--not about bats but about the writer. I was happy to respond with some details. And he soon reported that he had enough to do his homework well.

So this ended as a win-win situation. I was reminded of the strange and wonderful things that can happen when a writer gets published. Jose had read something that I wrote many years ago. It was in his English textbook. The publisher had paid me, long ago, to use a few paragraphs I had once written about bats. This is always a sweet surprise in a writer's life; work done perhaps 10-20 years ago, mostly forgotten, suddenly yields some income. And, in a roundabout way, it helped a kid with his homework!

In a School, A Girl Asks a Question

May 25, 2016

Last week in a New Jersey school, a 4th grade girl (Emily?) asked an unusual question. She said she often started to write, then tossed away her start, tried again, discarded it again. That was her problem. I recall saying two things: 1) that maybe she was actually a good writer (her teacher, seated nearby, murmured, "Yes, she is!) and maybe she was just being too critical of herself; 2) I said that if my parents had saved my 4th grade writing, probably no one would be impressed by it, and say, "This person is going to be an author!"

My comments weren't very helpful for her specific question, but I felt I had to go on to another student's hand-in-the-air. Ever since I've had those "I wish I had said" thoughts. Ideally, we could sit together for half an hour and talk, writer-to-writer. I would ask her specific questions about the problem she posed. And, at least, I'd give her this advice: Try to give up on writing perfect sentences. When I write, my first try at a sentence is often far from perfect. Some might be called a "sloppy sentence." But I know that I can and must go back to it, and try to make it better. Revise! Edit! And, after writing many books and getting advice from many editors, I'm pretty good at it. But that is not true of most 4th graders. So, I'd try to leave Emily with the idea that a not-very-good sentence can be made better, and eventually she will probably learn to be a good editor of her work.