Books by Laurence Pringle

THE SECRET LIFE OF THE SKUNK by Laurence Pringle
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 13, 2019

"Sweet—really: Animal lovers will find much to appreciate here, and report writers are well served. (author's note, glossary, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 6-9)"
Maligned and malodorous…but oh, so interesting. Read full book review >
THE SECRET LIFE OF THE LITTLE BROWN BAT by Laurence Pringle
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 11, 2018

"A simple but effective appreciation. (author's note, glossary) (Informational picture book. 3-7)"
The activities of a young brown bat over his first summer on his own serve as introduction to the most widespread bat species in the U.S. Read full book review >
THE SECRET LIFE OF THE RED FOX by Laurence Pringle
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 7, 2017

"Visually captivating introduction to the red fox's secret life. (bibliography) (Informational picture book. 6-9)"
This yearlong chronicle explores the physical attributes, habits, and habitat of the red fox. Read full book review >
OCTOPUSES! by Laurence Pringle
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2015

"Pringle inks another winner in a long series of engaging, informative invitations to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 5-10)"
A veteran science writer introduces the most intelligent invertebrate of all, the octopus, master of camouflage. Read full book review >
THE SECRET LIFE OF THE WOOLLY BEAR CATERPILLAR by Laurence Pringle
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2014

"Straightforward and informative. (Informational picture book. 5-9)"
The author of more than 100 children's books looks closely at a familiar creature. Read full book review >
SCORPIONS! by Laurence Pringle
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2013

"Budding arachnologists will find this an enlightening introduction. (bibliography, pronunciation guide, resources for more information) (Nonfiction. 6-10)"
Veteran science writer Pringle delivers another stinging success with this fascinating look at the similarities and differences among the many varied species of these much feared but mostly misunderstood arachnids. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2012

"Readers will regard their refrigerators and freezers in a whole new, respectful light. (websites, list of films, source notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)"
A coolly fascinating, nostalgic glimpse into life as it was over a century ago. Read full book review >
FROGS! by Laurence Pringle
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2012

"Budding herpetologists will snap this one up faster than a frog can catch a fly. (author's note, answer key, list of resources for more information) (Nonfiction. 6-10) "
Science writer Pringle truly delivers with his latest, a fascinating look at the similarities and differences among the many and varied species of frogs. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2011

"A necessary title for most school and public libraries serving young readers, this will be welcomed for its calm tone and straightforward, comprehensive introduction to the subject. (index) (Nonfiction. 9-15)"
A clear, well-organized presentation of the evidence from earth's rocks and fossils, the variation of living things, the process of natural selection and the study of DNA and radiocarbon dating that supports the scientific theory of evolution. Read full book review >
IMAGINE A DRAGON by Laurence Pringle
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2008

Light on specifics—and totally free of source citations or leads to further information—Pringle's anecdotal survey of dragons worldwide floats next to a set of kaleidoscopic action portraits done in swirling combed acrylics. Making it plain that he's describing imaginary creatures, the author begins with examples from ancient civilizations, closes with a reference to dragon floats in modern Chinese New Year celebrations, and in between, mentions monsters from Asia, Europe and Africa, but not the Americas. Neilan's toothy worms occupy color or monochrome scenes rendered in a fragmented, cubist style. Gail Gibbons's Behold—The Dragons! (1999) is just one of several titles that will give younger audiences a better grounding in dragon basics; consider this one only for readers who can't get enough on the topic. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)Read full book review >
PENGUINS! by Laurence Pringle
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2007

This new entry in a series of popular animal books describes and illustrates 13 species of penguins, flightless southern hemisphere birds with dark backs and white fronts that spend most of their lives at sea. Opening with an explanation of similarities and differences among the penguin species, and a list of where each lives, Pringle goes on to describe their locomotion, feeding habits, adaptations for the prevailing temperature, habitats, courting, nesting and nurturing, growth and development, and enemies, including changes in their natural world due to global warming. Henderson's naturalistic watercolor illustrations fill the pages, sometimes with boxed insets on top of larger scenes. Although the Antarctica-focused map's geography is slightly inaccurate, the drawings of the different species are clear and carefully labeled, illustrating the variations described in the text on each double-page spread. Enthusiastic and wonderfully informative, this will grab readers and listeners alike. (Nonfiction. 7-10)Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Nov. 1, 2006

Sticking closely to historical records and current scholarship, Pringle follows up Dog of Discovery: A Newfoundland's Adventures with Lewis and Clark (2002) with this handsome tribute to Clark's near-lifelong companion and slave. Carefully noting where details are scant or absent, he traces York's early years, significant role in the expedition that is "still considered the greatest in United States history," and later unhappy experiences. Nearly always easily identifiable as the tallest figure in sight, York can be followed from childhood to maturity in the grand watercolor illustrations as he grows up with Clark, takes an active role in providing food for the expedition and coping with emergencies, clowns with laughing Arikara children and strikes a final heroic pose at the end. Rich in eye-opening observations—Pringle notes, for instance, that when the expedition took a vote, both York and Sacagawea participated—this study joins Rhoda Blumberg's York's Adventures with Lewis and Clark (2004) atop the teetering stack of Lewis and Clark titles. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-11)Read full book review >
SNAKES! by Laurence Pringle
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

The author of more than 100 books for children and teens has produced another winner in this attractive compendium of intriguing snake facts. As with other titles in the Strange and Wonderful series, the author fosters an appreciation of all living things as he focuses on unusual features of his subject. Here he describes how snakes move, hunt their prey, avoid enemies, and survive in a variety of habitats. He introduces a few snakes from around the world, including boomslangs, cobras, rattlesnakes, and boas. Full-color drawings on every page are dramatic and visually satisfying. Many drawings extend the text, for example, the illustrator includes a series of drawings to show how snakes move or shed their skins, and magnified drawings to show different types of snake scales. The author concludes with an afterword on people and snakes. This handsome science title will slide off the shelf. (Nonfiction. 7-10)Read full book review >
WHALES!  by Laurence Pringle
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2003

From a take-notice beginning ("If you were a great whale, you could open your mouth wide enough to hold an elephant") to a thoughtful treatment of whale conservation at the end, Pringle (Crows, 2002, etc.) does a bang-up job on his 100th outing. Here he covers all aspects of the giants, from physiology to diet to migration, and all types, from narwhals with their spiral tusks (really a left tooth) to blue whales that grow to be 100 feet long (and eat four tons of food a day). Pringle's smooth prose explains not only the what, but the why of whales—they can grow so big, for example, because the water they live in supports their weight. Henderson's annotated watercolors dramatize and enliven the text, as well as provide a useful sense of scale. A rare nonfiction picture book that works beautifully as a read-aloud, as a whole, it's as wonderful as the whales. (Nonfiction. 4-10)Read full book review >
CROWS! by Laurence Pringle
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

Pringle complements Listen to the Crows (1976), his old standard look at crow communication, with a wider-angled introduction to these wily birds for younger readers. Marstall (A Dragon in the Sky, 2001, etc.) combines photos, computer-manipulated images, and oils for uncluttered scenes of crows near and far, eating, flying, and feeding young. Pringle's text is sometimes too spare; he exclaims over the "glints of deep blue and purple" in crow feathers without explaining what causes the effect. But lines like, "In one day, a crow's diet might include berries, pizza, snails, grasshoppers, and some tasty morsels from a dead opossum," will rivet young naturalists. Filling his pages with lots of fascinating facts, like "crows do not hop as most birds do," Pringle inspires readers to want to know more. His closing point, that crows should not be categorized as helpful or harmful (they can be both), but "simply part of nature," is a thought worth provoking. (afterword) (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2001

The author of many fine science titles here presents the saga of a dragonfly, born in a swamp in upstate New York and destined to travel to Florida to fertilize eggs and die. The birth, growth, and development of this deceptively delicate creature is told in language both clear and lyrical, following a single egg from hatching to protonymph, through many molts to mature nymph, and finally to adulthood. There are enemies at every turn: frogs, salamanders, spiders, birds, and fish to name only a few; it's a marvel that any dragonfly survives. The detail of the text is awesome; for example, the dragonfly nymph has a deadly lower lip, nearly a third the length of the entire nymph. It can shoot out with lightning speed in 25 thousandths of a second, to grasp and capture a prey, then fold up on its hinge when not in use. The illustrator does an outstanding job of showing close-up details of tiny specialized features such as the unique pattern of veins in the dragonfly wings that scientists use to distinguish one species from another. The author concludes with directions for capturing and caring for a dragonfly nymph, books for further reading, Web sites of interest, and an index. Readers who follow the journey of Anax, a lone green darner dragonfly, will gain an appreciation for a most remarkable creature. This is a worthy companion to Pringle's An Extraordinary Life: The Story of the Monarch Butterfly. (1997). (Nonfiction. 9-12)Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2001

This super work on global warming by a noted science writer is an essential replacement for aging titles on the topic. Following the format of his 1991 edition on the same topic, this one has been completely revised and provides current research and information. The unusually inviting format, vivid writing, striking photographs, extensive glossary, further reading, and index make this a first choice on the subject. Pringle states in the introduction: "This book tells why the Earth's climate is warming. It describes the alarming effects of climate change that are already occurring and those that scientists forecast for the years ahead. And it tells what people must do in order to prevent a potential worldwide disaster of their own making." Then he does just that in 48 pages divided into short, readable chapters. He takes the reader from the last ice age to the Kyoto Protocol, which sets global goals for emissions to be met by 2012. Visually striking, current, and informative, this is a must read. (Nonfiction. 10-14)Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 31, 2000

Laurence Pringle (Bats, 2000, etc.) has assembled a superior overview of the environmental movement from its inception to the present. He begins with North America's first folly, when the settlers arrived, facing a brutal, merciless land that seemed inexhaustibly abundant. Pringle leads us through the first steps of the environmental movement, when few realized the abundance was far from inexhaustible. He describes the onset of the naturalists and the conservationists who were lead by the likes of John Muir and put into political practice by Theodore Roosevelt. Pringle highlights the foremost individuals of the movement and includes illustrative photographs. Pringle never shies from being blunt about the treachery of some political leaders or corporations, but neither does he paint a portrait too heavily weighted on one side, rather offering a fine journalistic balance of facts without histrionics or pedantry. The book is so engrossing and even uplifting that when it finally arrives at the nineties it is a sad declaration that despite all that has been achieved, the planet and its creatures still face incredible peril in many forms. Written with clarity and resonance, this leaves the reader with a sense of progress as well as urgency for further change. (lists of ecosystem services, environmental and government agencies, further reading, index, not seen) (Nonfiction. 10-12)Read full book review >
ONE ROOM SCHOOL by Laurence Pringle
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 1, 1998

An affectionate paean to his one-room schoolhouse turns Pringle (Elephant Woman, 1997, etc.) into everyone's favorite uncle, telling stories about when he was a child. They are engaging tales, full of small details that children will love: Helen, who was the only third grader, then the only fourth grader, etc., through most of her school years; the boys' outhouse was farther away than the girls' so boys had more time outdoors; the teacher's floral print dresses and Tabu perfume. Garrison's illustrations are richly textured prints in the soft, blurred colors of memory. She frames them in the white deckled edges and corners of old photographs, so readers know that it is Pringle's remembrance of school in the last year of WW II that is captured in this evocative ``album.'' (Picture book. 6-10) Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

A biography of Moss, whose dedication to elephant research pegs her as a true scientist, despite her lack of formal training. Pringle (Everybody Has a Bellybutton, p. 1227, etc.) profiles Moss; her eye-opening research on elephants changed the way people view them, and brought them protection from poachers. Although this book focuses mainly on Moss's life, it provides some information on elephants, too: Moss observed how elephants survived droughts, and how the wisdom of a female matriarch could benefit an entire elephant family. Clear full-color photographs show the elephants and their human observers. This is an inspirational book for those interested in animal-related vocations; for serious research on elephants, Moss's own books may be more suitable. (map, further reading, index) (Biography. 10-12) Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

An excellent book for adults to share with children who are curious about their prenatal lives. Pringle (Naming the Cat, p. 1035, etc.), addressing listeners directly, begins with fertilization (the mechanics of conception are deliberately left beyond the scope of this book), details the various developmental stages of the embryo and fetus, and ends with birth. Soft, discreet pencil drawings on pink, blue, and lavender pastel backgrounds show how a baby grows from a cluster of undifferentiated cells into a newborn being welcomed by happy parents and big sister. There is just enough information, in text and illustrations, for preschoolers; Pringle also offers thoughtful suggestions for personalizing the explanation but cautions against ``overtelling.'' Admirably restrained and formal, but not without warmth. (further reading) (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8) Read full book review >
NAMING THE CAT by Laurence Pringle
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 1997

From an author best known for nature and science writing (An Extraordinary Life, p. 304, etc.), a warmly appealing tale based on his family's experiences. While a family attempts to decide on a name for the black-and-white cat they have adopted, several hairbreadth escapes from disaster make it clear that the cat's name should be ``Lucky.'' It's a conclusion most children—to their delight—will have reached before the name is disclosed on the last page. This simple story, with several happy endings and enhanced by lively, intensely colorful illustrations of the rotund feline, lends itself to discussion of such questions as ``What happens to feral cats?'' and ``Do cats always land on their feet?'' (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1997

A migration flight from New England to Mexico and back again would be impressive for a large goose; for a monarch butterfly, it's nothing short of miraculous. Pringle (Smoking, 1996, etc.) and Marstall capture that miracle in this chronicle of the lifetime of a monarch called Danaus (after its Latin name). Readers follow Danaus on her perilous journey from Massachusetts, slipping through cat paws and struggling with bad weather until she and thousands of other monarchs find their winter homes in Mexico and California. Even there, life is dangerous: Cold weather and predators kill off many monarchs before spring arrives, when they mate, fly north, lay their eggs, and die. Pringle writes simply of all the small, fascinating details that make up the monarch's life cycle, while illustrations and captions help readers visualize the information, e.g., that delicate gold dots on a monarch's chrysalis may help disguise the chrysalis from predators by reflecting sunlight like drops of dew, and the caterpillar's markings warn predators that it eats milkweed, making it poisonous to some. Marstall provides nearly photorealistic views of biological processes, but never neglects the poetic aspect of the information. A superb, well-researched book that finds extraordinary science in the everyday life of a butterfly. (maps, diagrams, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12) Read full book review >
SMOKING by Laurence Pringle
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

Pringle (Fire in the Forest, 1995, etc.) offers a brief, readable account of smoking and its consequences and the mind- altering effects of nicotine and addiction. Chapter headings- -``Innocent Bystanders,'' ``Death in Small Doses,'' and ``Promoting a Product that Kills''—do not conceal the author's position. Especially interesting is the story of the tobacco industry, its lobbying efforts, publicity campaigns, secret experiments, and courtroom battles over product liability. Also described are efforts to sell to young people and minorities through publicity, sports promotions, and premiums, as well as attempts to develop markets abroad. The final chapters discuss efforts to create a smoke-free society and give advice on how to stop smoking. Though lacking footnotes or references, this is a useful title, which includes addresses to write for more information. (index, b&w photos, not seen, glossary, further reading) (Nonfiction. 8-14) Read full book review >
FIRE IN THE FOREST by Laurence Pringle
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

Marstall's wondrous landscape paintings are reason enough to own this work, subtitled ``A Cycle of Growth and Renewal,'' about the 1988 fires that burned nearly a third of Yellowstone National Park. Dramatic spreads help readers understand what the forest was like before, during, and after the fire, while thumb-sized drawings show park inhabitants and species up close. Pringle (Dinosaurs!, p. 231, etc.) makes his text dense with detail and repeatedly stresses the importance of fires as a natural part of the cycle of growth and renewal in an ecosystem. He covers the same material as Patricia Lauber's Summer of Fire (1991), which used outstanding full-color photographs and a more vivid text. This neither updates nor replaces that title, but it is a worthy companion to it. (further reading) (Picture book/nonfiction. 10-12) Read full book review >
DINOSAURS! by Laurence Pringle
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

A book about dinosaurs, from a science writer (Batman, 1991 etc.) with a strong track record, who here may have misjudged his audience. The picture book format will turn away grade-schoolers old enough to grasp such complicated concepts as fossils, which are introduced but not fully explained. The writing is skillfully on target, if a bit formal, for younger dinophiles. They will find the full-color, detailed illustrations convincingly scaly and realistically ugly; especially good is Heyer's pachyrhinosaurus with its swirling multihued skin. It illustrates Pringle's comment that fossils teach nothing about the colors of dinosaurs, nor about the sounds they made. (Nonfiction. 4+) Read full book review >
JACKAL WOMAN by Laurence Pringle
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Sept. 30, 1993

By the author of Bearman and Batman, another outstanding study of a contemporary scientist: the training, career, and daily activities of Patricia D. Moehlman, a behavioral ecologist who has spent two decades studying jackals on Tanzania's Serengeti Plain. Pringle's text and his subject's striking color photos capture her admiration and affection for this wild relative of the dog, often dismissed as a sneaky scavenger. Moehlman describes the jackals' daily life and importance in the Plain's ecology. The tools of a modern field biologist include a laptop computer to record behavior; using radio transmitter collars to track jackals is more problematic, as Moehlman candidly discusses. Appealing and intriguing; a winner. Further reading (mostly journal articles by Moehlman); index. (Nonfiction. 8-12) Read full book review >
OCTOPUS HUG by Laurence Pringle
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 23, 1993

When Mom goes to dinner with a friend and leaves them with Dad, the gaptoothed narrator and his little sister feel so out of sorts that they begin to squabble—but not for long. These lucky kids have a humongous dad who enjoys roughhousing as much as they do. ``You are about to be hugged by an octopus!'' he announces, counting to eight as he wraps the boy in his arms. When he sings ``Rock-a-bye, Baby,'' somehow everyone falls, laughing, out of the rocker; before he packs the children into bed, still giggling, he's also been a tree for them to climb, a monster, and a horse. Palmer, who's worked as a political cartoonist, represents this ebullient African-American family with appropriately broad humor and enthusiasm. A likable book that's sure to start kids romping, and maybe their parents, too. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1993

"An excellent summary—so evenhanded that both sides in a debate could find it useful. Index. (Nonfiction. 12+)"
In a clear and concise overview of major issues of their chemical and biological arms control, Pringle provides background on the dangers present, as well as of the social and political factors that have spread them even more widely than nuclear weapons. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 15, 1992

Striking color photos of icebergs, explorers, flora, and fauna provide the primary appeal here, while the choppy, somewhat disjointed text ranges over prehistory, exploration, recent scientific expeditions, and current efforts to protect the continent. There's much to intrigue: ice fish that lack hemoglobin; dinosaur fossils; pollen samples from ice cores 180,000 years old; frozen lichens growing beneath the surface of sandstone rocks. Winckler and Rodgers's Our Endangered Planet. Antarctica (p. 725) is more carefully organized and coherent, but the photos here are more spectacular. Brief glossary; index. (Nonfiction. 10-12) Read full book review >
BATMAN by Laurence Pringle
ANIMALS
Released: March 29, 1991

Merlin Tuttle, the ``Batman'' subject of this brief biography, dates his enthusiasm for biology to capturing a toad at the age of two. At nine he was keeping a notebook of his wildlife observations and memorizing the scientific names of all the mammals of California. Bat advocate, photographer, researcher, author, and founder of Bat Conservation International, Dr. Tuttle is an excellent example of a contemporary working scientist. Pringles includes fascinating tidbits about bats and their importance to the balance of nature; Tuttle's close-up color photos are stunning. Further reading; index.~(Nonfiction. 10-12) Read full book review >