It just so happens that one of the best storytellers in the country also writes children books. If you like stories that start with a kernel of truth and transform through the art of exaggeration, you'll want to read the library's collection of books by Bill Harley. His newest title is still hot off the press, just released last month.
"Charlie Bumpers vs. The Teacher of the Year" relates the unfortunate experiences of Charlie, who is horrified to find out that he'll be spending the next school year with the same teacher he accidentally threw a shoe at last year. Charlie always seems to be doing something wrong whenever she's around. It's going to be a long year. Bill Harley is paired again with illustrator, Adam Gustavson, who adds a touch of whimsy to his otherwise realistic pictures, repeating his success with the following book, "Lost and Found."
"Lost and Found" chronicles a heroic quest to gain access to the lost and found box, guarded by a surly school custodian, to recover a very special hat. Justin lost his favorite hat, the one his Grandmother made, and he needs to find it fast before her upcoming visit. After gathering the courage to make his request, Justin finds many treasurers in the lost and found box and makes an unlikely friend. The big question iswill he find his hat in time?
"Dirty Joe the Pirate: A True Story" looks at the reality of having an older sister through the fantastic medium of a Pirate tale. Dirty Joe is in charge of the whole ship and the crew until his sister, Dirty Annie, arrives and dominates the pirate scene. The comedic illustrations by Jack Davis add to the humorous storyline.
"Sarah's Story" begins with a familiar frameworkwhat to write about when you have a writing assignment due the next day. Sarah spends the whole day trying to think up a great story until she hears an ant speak to her and she shrinks to the size of an ant. Her adventures in the anthill make her late to school, but she's able to tell her classmates the best story of all.
"Sitting Down to Eat" is a cumulative tale that caters to the preschool crowd. Written along the lines of "A Mitten" by Jan Brett, where forest animals take shelter in a stretchy mitten, the main character settles down to eat when one animal after another knocks on the door and is invited in to share the meal. When the caterpillar comes by as the tenth guest, you won't believe what happens to the group! The book features large collage illustrations by Kitty Harvill.
Harley also has several very entertaining CDs with more of his stories such as, "High Dive," "Down in the Backpack," and "Monsters in the Bathroom." Non-readers can enjoy the audio versions of these stories on CD also found in the Children's area of the library.
Bill Harley and his trusty guitar will be presenting his stories and songs at the Reynolds Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. Friday. He'll also read stories and sign books at the Peter White Public Library at 11 a.m. Nov. 9. Call 226-4318 for more information about books and events.
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