Laurence Pringle

Children's Books and School Author Visits

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

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

Scorpions! Strange and Wonderful


The Story Behind the Book

In the "strange and wonderful" series, I definitely aim to include animals that can be dangerous to people. Of course the creatures--bats, sharks, snakes, alligators and crocodiles--are always much less dangerous than many people think. There are nearly two thousand species of scorpions, and only three dozen have venom that can kill a human.
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A FUNNY THING HAPPENED: In my travels I've had a few encounters with scorpions, in Arizona and Mexico. On a trip to central Mexico with artist Bob Marstall (as we worked on our book about the life of one monarch butterfly), we turned over rocks to find and photograph some scorpions. Bob had a really "close encounter!" His suitcase was open on the floor of the motel where we stayed. One morning he picked up some underwear from that suitcase. A scorpion fell out! We sometimes wonder what might have happened if he had quickly put the underwear on, with the scorpion still within!
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Long ago I wrote Scorpion Man: Exploring the World of Scorpions, about biologist Gary Polis. I was fortunate to meet him, and even interview him, in my house. He asked if my youngest kids, Jesse and Rebecca, would like to have pet scorpions. Yes! One day, a package arrived in the mail, with two scorpions in separate boxes. They were given the names "Stinger" and "Venom," and kept in separate terrariums--because the bigger one would have killed and eaten the smaller. They were fed live crickets (which you can buy at pet stores) and lived in their little deserts for about a year.

After the book about Gary Polis was published we continued to keep in touch. And I was shocked and sad when he died (with others) when a sudden storm sunk a boat in Mexico's Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez). What a loss, especially to his family, including two young children. When I was asked to write a dedication for this scorpion book, the choice was easy, and the dedication reads:

In memory of "scorpion man" Gary A. Polis, a great scientist, husband, father, friend.