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

The Secret Life of the Red Fox



The Story Behind the Book

This is one of the most satisfying, rewarding book projects of my life (and this is book #116). Here are some reasons for these feelings:

(1) I love writing narrative nonfiction for young readers.

(2) Through the years I saw very few red foxes near my home in the woods. Then in 2014 we began to hear and see them a lot. A pair had picked some dens to raise a family not far from our house. Purely by coincidence, I began to write the book in April, and we had many foxy experiences from February through July.

(3) An artist was needed, and there was a lot of back-and-forth about that between editors and me. I didn't like the work of a couple they suggested. That May and again in late June, I was on the faculty of workshops of the Highlights Foundation. One of the students there was Kate Garchinsky--an accomplished artist who had not yet illustrated a published book. That summer I sent her the opening few sentences of my red fox book. She captured the mood and the look of Vixen the fox in the snow. I sent that to my editor and was pleasantly surprised, when I next visited her office: Vixen in the snow was posted on the wall by her desk.

(4) Kate was hired and everyone was pleased with her work. I remember one special meeting--a rare get-together of author, artist, editor, and book designer in December 2015. Then and later there were issues to settle, for example, how to show the key action in the book when Vixen is chased by dogs; and little factual matters that I cared about, like the footprints Vixen left in snow being the right distance apart for a walking fox. Kate even had the subtle, sweet idea of making fox tails out of the ends of some title letters on the book's jacket .

(5) We were fortunate to have Dr. J. David Henry, a Canadian fox researcher, check the writing and art of the book. And he is mighty pleased with how it turned out.

(6) I had the opportunity to dedicate the book to someone. Gee, who could that be? Then I learned that my daughter Rebecca was going to give birth to a baby girl in early November 2016. So my dedication welcomes her to the family and the world.

(7) Some early copies were in our hands in late August 2016, and we had a long wait until the book is officially published in March 2017. Meanwhile, Kate in Pennsylvania and I in New York are eager to see fox tracks in the snow and listen for their wild calls. And we have become teammates, as she is the artist for further titles in the "Secret Life of..." series.