"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
"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."
"A must-have addition to science collections."
"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." --
"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."
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."
school author visits
Picture Book Fiction
"A likable book that's sure to start kids romping, and maybe their parents, too."--Kirkus
November 8, 2017
Though my spirits have been lifted these past weeks by seeing more monarchs on the move, heading for Mexico, my life has been dominated by a writing struggle. Yes, I say "struggle" because the book writing process is sometimes like that for me. It is somewhat like a roller coaster of feelings, and believe me, the low points are not fun. However, at some point--not yet reached--a writing project will give me lots of highs, and great feelings of accomplishment. And, by the way, I sometimes remind myself that many people have jobs that are so much more difficult, boring, and soul-destroying than mine.
A fall with far-above average temperatures has yielded some sweet surprises in nature: Green frogs still active in the garden pond. Katydids calling at night, even in early November. Ten or twenty years ago we would have had a killing frost well before Halloween. Our everyday lives show evidence of global warming, brought on by human activity. Some minor changes are welcome. The major ones are scary. (more…)
July 25, 2017
Nature gives my family and me some wonderful animal music: spring peepers, wood thrush concerts, chimney swifts twittering overhead, cicadas. Then each year about July 22-23, we hear the first katydids. A few have called from trees the past few nights; they will continue well into the fall.
However, katydids send a kind of mixed message. Many years ago I mentioned this to my wife, Susan. "They signal that summer is far along. Fall is coming." Susan was then a very good, dedicated school teacher--BUT she did not want to be reminded of autumn's approach. I believe it was my remark about katydids that led to a family rule: in summer vacation (until near Labor Day), we tried to avoid the S-word, the A-word, and the F-word. And those words were School, Autumn, and Fall. In general, though, from now on this summer we will enjoy the bittersweet music of katydids (the K-word).
August 21, 2016
At this time of year, my wife Susan and I are glad we are NOT on vacation. Why leave paradise in West Nyack? The vegetable garden is producing a bountiful crop, especially of cucumbers and tomatoes. Arriving guests are told that they must take away some fresh produce. Many song birds are fairly quiet these days, but the dog-day cicada chorus is steady. Hummingbirds visit cardinal flowers and jewelweed blossoms. The cicadas are still going at about 8 p.m., then we hear the first katydids and crickets.
Some evenings, about 8:30, I go to watch the sky over our yard and gardens, and am
sometimes rewarded with the dodging, darting dance of a little brown bat, chasing moths. And the night can bring a mix of sounds: the delightful "whinny" of a screech
owl, or the worrisome howls, barks, and yips of coyotes. A mom coyote and her young seem to be in the neighborhood quite a bit--so far not seen but those sounds are unmistakable, and scary. We make sure the three cats are in for the night!