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Laurence Pringle

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Laurence Pringle - Author
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  • Laurence Pringle - Author


    (Totaling 122 titles including those below--mostly just from this century. All those listed published by Boyds Mills Press unless otherwise noted.)

    • Elephants! Strange and Wonderful, 2021
    • The Secret Life of the Sloth, 2021
    • The Secret Life of the Skunk, 2019
    • Dolphins! Strange and Wonderful, 2019
    • The Secret Life of the Little Brown Bat, 2018
    • Spiders! Strange and Wonderful, 2017
    • The Secret Life of the Red Fox, 2017
    • Owls! Strange and Wonderful, 2016
    • Octopuses! Strange and Wonderful, 2015
    • The Secret Life of the Woolly Bear Caterpillar, 2014
    • Scorpions! Strange and Wonderful, 2013
    • Ice! The Amazing History of the Ice Business, 2012
    • Frogs! Strange and Wonderful, 2012
    • Billions of Years, Amazing Changes: The Story of Evolution, 2011
    • Cicadas! Strange and Wonderful, 2010
    • Alligators! Strange and Wonderful, 2009
    • Imagine a Dragon, 2008
    • Penguins! Strange and Wonderful, 2008
    • American Slave, American Hero: York of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 2006
    • Owls! Strange and Wonderful
      Book Reviews
    • Snakes! Strange and Wonderful, 2004
    • Come to the Ocean's Edge, 2003
    • Bear Hug, 2003
    • Whales! Strange and Wonderful, 2003
    • Dog of Discovery: A Newfoundland's Adventures with Lewis and Clark, 2002
    • Crows! Strange and Wonderful, 2002
    • Sharks! Strange and Wonderful, 2002
    • Dolphin Man: Exploring the World of Dolphins, 2002
    • Scholastic Encyclopedia of Animals, Scholastic, 2001
    • Global Warming: The Threat of Earth's Changing Climate, Chronicle, 2001
    • Bats! Strange and Wonderful, 2000
    • One Room School, 1998
    • An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly, Orchard Books, 1997

    Nearly all of the above books, plus a dozen more, are Accelerated Reader titles.


    • In 2005 Larry won a major lifetime achievement award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, for "excellence in science books."
    • The 1999 Washington Post/Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for work that contributed "significantly to the quality of nonfiction for children."
    • The Secret Life of the Sloth
      Book Reviews
    • Special Conservation Award from the National Wildlife Federation "for numerous outstanding environmental books aimed at children and young adults."
    • National Council of Teachers of English 1998 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, for An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly.
    • Winner, Orbis Pictus 1997 Award for Outstanding Nonfiction (The National Council of Teachers of English judged An Extraordinary Life the best children's nonfiction book published in 1996.)
    • National Council of Teachers of English Orbis Pictus Honor Book, for Dophin Man: Exploring the World of Dolphins.
    • More than 80 of Larry's titles have been selected as Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children by the National Science Teachers Association. Many of Larry's titles also earn starred reviews and a place on honored lists.


    K-8 (even pre-K)

    Dolphins! Strange and Wonderful
    Book Reviews


    About 30-35 minutes for K-1; 40-50 minutes for grades 2-8. Length can be adjusted to fit a school's needs.


    Larry prefers to give up to 6 programs a day. This makes it possible for him to be with all grades, K-5 (or more). Also, it allows more personal interaction with students, and more kids have opportunities to participate.

    All of his varied programs aim to nurture writing skills and excite interest in reading, and in biography, science, and other nonfiction literature. Teachers often remark that Larry's programs give them a wealth of teachable ideas on which to follow up. The programs reinforce education goals in the language arts — in writing and reading (especially of informational literature). The many examples Larry provides from his books help students learn about the craft and structure of good writing, and the integration of knowledge and ideas that are key to good nonfiction writing. Students see how an author develops a topic with facts and details, based on solid research, then improves it by editing and revising. (And, by the way, Larry's programs also induce student laughter, chuckles, and grins!)

    American Slave, American Hero
    Book Reviews

    In programs for K and 1st grade, Larry celebrates reading — "alone with a good book, you are never alone" — and gives details of the fun of writing books about animals. It is fun to be curious, and to do research, meeting all sorts of experts (dolphins, bats, scorpions). A good book is a result of teamwork — author, editor, expert, artist. Larry shows and describes examples of this teamwork in action. He also shows a few of the weird and wonderful items given to him because he writes many animal books. Time permitting, he reads one of his fiction picture book titles (revealing details about the book's writing along the way).

    For grades 2 and up, programs feature a growing emphasis on the writing process — the importance of a good beginning, solid research, and revising. The amount of participation by students also increases with older grades, as does the time allowed for Q & A. For grades 4 and up, usually a few minutes are devoted to a fun quiz: can anyone identify these fiction books upon hearing Larry quote their first sentences? This reinforces the importance of a strong beginning, to hook readers, and Larry also gives examples from nonfiction literature. Each program is enriched, and enlivened, by examples and stories about the creation of specific books and the teamwork of writer, expert, and artist — whether the subject is bats, the Lewis and Clark expedition, or the life of a monarch butterfly or a sloth.


    Ice! The Amazing History of the Ice Business
    Book Reviews
    A day's visit can include one or more of WRITERS WORKSHOPS. The number of students must be limited since they will have an opportunity to read what they have written. Larry also welcomes the opportunity for a WRITERS LUNCH with a group of students selected by teachers. This is not meant to be a powerful educational experience — just readers and writers hanging out, sometimes talking about reading and writing. Kids love it!


    "If you asked me in third grade, or high school, or college, if I would ever write a book, my answer would have been a strong NO! Even at age 30, the same answer. Now I've had more than a hundred books published. I tell kids that the same thing could happen to them — they may surprise themselves, their families, and the world with accomplishments that they do not yet dare to dream.

    "Through the years I've learned quite a bit about the writing process, and I love sharing ideas with students. They are often surprised to learn that even an author of many books feels that writing can be hard work — and is still trying to become a better writer."


    $1,000 for a full day of up to 6 programs (full range of grades). Fees and travel costs may be added but can be lower for multiple school visits in the same area, or for schools within a reasonable driving distance of Larry's home in New York. School budgets vary a lot, so fees can be negotiated. In-person author visits have many strengths lacked by virtual visits (Skype, Zoom, etc.), but they are possible; total cost is usually less than that of in-person.


    • Two long tables, front of stage, or similar surface on which to display about 20 of Larry's books (which he provides).
    • If available, a document projector, plus screen, set up to show details of art, editing changes, expert comments (aiming for accuracy of both text and art), and other details of the book creation process. This equipment is vital for large groups in a large space, but often is not needed for smaller groups in the more intimate setting of a library/media center.
    • Microphone (preferably cordless that clips to shirt) is often needed in an all-purpose room or similar large space, not for a smaller room and audience.
    • A bottle, or two, of water.


    Some schools choose to offer autographed books for purchase by students — a challenging task to organize but one that kids and families appreciate. Larry provides an up-to-date list of in-print books and of publisher contact information. Books ordered for autographing get substantial publisher discounts. If time allows, Larry prefers to sign each book to each specific student's name. And, of course, he's happy to sign his books that are already in a school's library or classroom collections.



    Laurence Pringle
    PO Box 252
    West Nyack, New York 10994
    Telephone: 845-623-7273


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