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
"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
"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
Picture Book Fiction
"A likable book that's sure to start kids romping, and maybe their parents, too."--Kirkus

Dog of Discovery: A Newfoundland's Adventures with Lewis and Clark

The Story Behind the Book

Almost twenty years ago I became aware that a Newfoundland dog had accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition. I thought: "A good idea for a book." As the 200th year celebration of the expedition neared, I sought a publishing contract for such a book, and signed one. Only then did I begin to dig deeply into the story of the dog's role in this great American adventure. Only then did I learn that the dog is mentioned infrequently in the explorers' journals. He is not mentioned at all for an eight-month period!

So I had a choice: write a very short book that focused on the known actions of the dog, or write a much longer book about the whole expedition, focusing on the dog whenever possible. I chose the latter, partly because I then had an excellent reason to read every page of the richly-detailed journals of this expedition. As usual, I enjoyed the research more than I did the writing.

As the expedition proceeded and my completed pages piled up, I wondered how I would end the book. No one knew what happened to the dog, Seaman. There is no mention of him in the journals after July 15, 1806, during the expedition's return from the Pacific. In fact, there was speculation that he had been abandoned in the far West, after Lewis had a deadly encounter with Blackfeet Indians. Not one shred of evidence had been found by historians about the fate of Seaman.

While I thought about this, the publisher with which I had the contract went out of business. I eventually found another publisher. The book was delayed, but that was a good thing because--in February 2000--a historian announced the first evidence ever discovered about what happened to Seaman. So I was able to write what is likely a true ending for Dog of Discovery. I won't say what happened; you'll have to read the book! But I will add what Newfoundland owners say: they are amazingly loyal dogs, and probably would do what Seaman did.

For more information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, go to the site of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation: Http:/​/​www.LewisandClark.org