Laurence Pringle

Children's Books and School Author Visits

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

"Another winner in a long series of engaging, informative invitations to explore the natural world." --Kirkus Reviews Starred Review
"Beginning on a snowy afternoon in February and ending in early autumn, this book centers on a fox named Vixen as she explores her habitat, hunts, runs from danger, and starts a family. This intimate and personal view into Vixen's life is chronicled through a beautifully cohesive relationship between text and illustration...A rich reading experience awaits those who pick up this title..."--School Library Journal STARRED REVIEW
A "picture-book equivalent of watching a nature documentary."--School Library Journal
"Budding arachnologists will find this an enlightening introduction."--Kirkus programs about writing in schools
"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 author meets students in elementary schools
"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 author visits in schools
"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 programs about writing for kids in schools
"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
elementary school author visits
"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
school author visits
Picture Book Fiction
"A likable book that's sure to start kids romping, and maybe their parents, too."--Kirkus

Ice! The Amazing History of the Ice Business

The Story Behind the Book

Serendipity is one of my favorite words. It means "unexpected good news." One early experience in my young life is an example: my father sent me outdoors on a cold November day to rake leaves. I grumbled, and felt unhappy. Raking, raking, raking. So many leaves! And then, in the roadside leaves, I found a five dollar bill. (This was long ago; today it would be like you finding a twenty!) Suddenly a boring chore was rewarded.

Serendipity also played a part in my writing Ice! The Amazing History of the Ice Business. In January 2009 I read about an upcoming event: the Knickerbocker Ice Festival, held at Rockland Lake, a few miles from my home. On a chilly Sunday I was there, marveling at ice sculptures, and seeing enlargements of old photos that showed that the lake had once been the site of a thriving and vital business. I had known a bit about this, but the photo captions and other information there gave me the idea of writing a book about a time when everyone depended on ice, iceboxes, and deliveries by icemen. Until that day I had never really thought about how different life was, before electric refrigerators and freezers. And I knew that the story wasn't just about Rockland Lake. The lake was important, since for a time it was called "the icebox of New York City." However, ice was harvested all over the country's colder regions. It was a national story. It was even an international story, since ice from the United States (including Rockland Lake) was shipped to such faraway places as Australia and China.

One of the rewards of writing this book, or any book: meeting all kinds of fascinating, and helpful, people. I'm especially grateful to two men, Timothy Englert and Rob Patalano, who knew about the history of ice harvesting, ice storing, etc. at Rockland Lake, and featured their knowledge at the ice festival. They both helped with details and accuracy of the book. Much later on, as I was hunting for old photos and drawings, I stumbled upon Icebox Memories, of Springfield, Massachusetts. The home of Gail and Thomas Lucia is a mini-museum (though not open to the public), and they shared their wisdom, plus old postcards, ice cards, and other items that helped illustrate the book.

As a writer, I always look for intriguing anecdotes or fascinating details that readers will appreciate. Here are three I especially like in this book: "Girl on the Ice!" (page 25), "A Horse Named Jerry, or White Silver" (page 38), and "Ice Riot!" (page 50). They tell true stories about everyday people, and help history come alive.