Laurence Pringle

Children's Books and School Author Visits

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

"A delightful work of narrative nonfiction that communicates facts and terminology alongside beautiful artwork...An excellent choice for elementary nonfiction collections." --SLJ (STARRED REVIEW)
"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
"One of the most interesting and informative books in Pringle and Henderson's consistently fine Strange and Wonderful series, here's an excellent choice for science collections."--Booklist "A well-crafted book full of realistic illustrations and lively scientific text that tackles the sometimes misunderstood spider." --School Library Journal
"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

The Secret Life of the Little Brown Bat

With STARRED reviews in School Library Journal and Booklist, this book is off to a flying start.


Guilty: I love bats! My first book about them was VAMPIRE BATS (1982). Second was BATMAN: EXPLORING THE WORLD OF BATS (1991)--about biologist Merlin Tuttle--next was BATS! STRANGE AND WONDERFUL (2000). And in 2018, THE SECRET LIFE OF THE LITTLE BROWN BAT. I continue to be curious about them, have a bat house hanging on an outside wall of my house, and sometimes go outdoors on a summer evening, waiting for "bat time," when bats appear and start patrolling for moths and other insects.

So it was inevitable, in my "secret life" series, that I would convince editors that there should be one about the most widespread species of bat in North America. In these narrative nonfiction books I aim to give the main "character" a name based on its scientific name. For this title I chose Otis because of the Latin name for the whole group called mouse-eared bats. The Latin word is Myotis (meaning "mouse eared") so the bat was Otis--and that meant the character had to be male.

There are wonderful opportunities for word play in these books. For example: "Near the pond, Otis flies higher, over a meadow. There he seems to dance in the air. With his amazingly flexible wings, Otis zigs and zags, flutters and dives, hovers and swoops, dips and swerves. Then he makes a quick turn and does it all again. And again!

The text of the next spread begins: "Otis is not playing. He is hunting..."
And the text continues, explaining the amazing echolocation system of bats.

My artistic partner was Kate Garchinsky, who did such extraordinary work in THE SECRET LIFE OF THE RED FOX. Reviews praise her contributions. And our teamwork continues, as she completes work on THE SECRET LIFE OF THE SKUNK. I know she will be pleased with one more title in the series, because the animal subject will let her escape the dark nighttime worlds of bats and skunks to illustrate THE SECRET LIFE OF THE SLOTH.