Spring 2013

Hello Friends-

I hope this finds you well and welcoming spring. We’ve had a long winter (still snow on the ground), and we’re looking forward to spring. This winter I traveled more than usual, and spring is full of travel, too, including a month long trip to New Zealand. Debbie is coming with me and we’re busy reading about the country and communicating with folks down there about performing and sightseeing. We can’t believe we’re going.


Writing Projects
I have been really busy working on some writing projects. This fall, the first book in a series about a fourth grade boy comes out – Charlie Bumpers vs. The Teacher of the Year. We’re just finishing up the final touches on the first draft, and the second one is already due. Peachtree Publishers, who has published a number of my books (including my most recent one, Lost and Found) is putting out the Charlie Bumpers books, and they’re being illustrated by the talented and wacky Adam Gustavson.

It looks great – some sketches of Charlie and his pals are right below. If things go well, there will be a new book every six months for the next couple of years. In between the bouts of terror, I’m very excited and delighted with what’s happening. You’ll hear more about it very soon.

I’m also waiting to hear on a couple of commissions for theater pieces. More news when I have it on those.



In related news (ha ha ha)  

My son Dylan has just released his first recording of songs, Moiria and you can check it out here: www.dylanlucas.bancamp.com

And my older son Noah, working with his childhood friend and filmmaker Michael Plunket, just received a MacArthur Foundation Grant to finish their film on the effects of the extraction of lithium from Bolivia. Michael and Noah have been working on this project for four years and it’s going to be a beautiful and powerful film.

Very proud of both of my guys.

Where's the stolen artwork? I know!  

Lost and Found, my picture book illustrated by Adam Gustavson that came out last fall has won numerous awards. In addition to being considered for state awards in Michigan, Maine and Florida, it was just named a Best Picture Book of the Year by the Bank Street School of Education. 

But the most interesting thing about Lost and Found has to do with the recent news about the stolen art from the Gardner Museum in Boston. Masterpieces were stolen from the museum in 1990 and have been missing ever since. Recently, the police say they’ve found the culprits. But if you look on the cover of Lost and Found, you’ll see that Mr. Rumkowsky, the custodian, knows exactly where the stolen Vermeer is– it’s in the big box in his office


left, lost and found cover; above Vermeer's The Concert

The police haven’t contacted me or Adam yet…
"Not Fair" news  

My album with Keith Munslow, It’s Not Fair to Me, has gotten great reviews and was recently named a Recommended recording by Parent’s Choice. "Hideous Sweater", Keith’s ode to bad fashion, has been #1 on Sirius/XM Kids Place Life for several weeks. No accounting for taste!

And, for those of you in RI or MA, Keith and I are performing this weekend at the Blackstone River Theater - Saturday morning - 11am - come see us!

Summer Workshop for Teachers  

On the weekend of July 19-21 I'll be doing a workshop, The Teaching Power of Stories, for educators at the beautiful Kirkridge Retreat Center in Bangor, PA. Whether you are a classroom teacher, administrator or librarian I hope you will consider joining me. With a pending Act 48 credit plan, you may even be able to get CEU credit for it! I really enjoy doing this workshop and would look forward to sharing the time (and stories) with you. If you need inspiration, check out my TEDx talk or send an email with questions you may have. Details are on the Kirkridge website. If you have questions about the workshop email me.

Summer and Fall Bookings   

Debbie is booking author visits, performances and workshops for my fall calendar - with my new book coming out I'd love to come to your school!  Email Debbie to talk about the possibilities.  

And, Colorado friends - I'm coming to the Boulder libraries in July and could book another concert or two....if you are interested, give a call or send an email!

Books - what we've been reading

I’m re-reading The Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram – a deeply profound book about how we live in the world – a lot of food for thought. Also have enjoyed Roddy Doyles book of short stories, Bullfighting. I love Doyle’s writing – I don’t think anyone does dialogue (especially Irish vernacular) better than he does, and he has such great humanity. Kid’s book wise, I recommend Wonder by R.J. Palacio. And I’m delighted that The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate won the Newberry Award – my great friend and editor at HarperCollins (now at Chronicle) was the editor for the book, and I’m proud of her! And finally, I got the latest edition of Wendell Berry’s Collected Poems and am enjoying my time with one of our national treasures.


I’ve been listening to four recordings over and over - WaterNight by Eric Whitacre – an incredible recording of contemporary choral music, Boys and Girls by the Alabama Shakes (Memphis 1960s returns with a vengeance), Schubert Impromptus by Alfred Brendel, and Moira, my son Dylan’s new recording of songs – highly recommended!  Whaddya like?


And you? Let us know?


Thanks for all of your support and interest. It keeps me going.

From the Office
  On Sale  

Blah Blah Blah, Bill's Grammy Award winning storytelling recording, now on sale!

In addition to fan favorite poem (and picture book) "The Ballad of Dirty Joe", this recording includes "Joey, Chloe and the Swamp Monsters", "King of the Clams" and the song story "Bow Wow Wow."

Fun stories for the whole family. Get your copy today! $10 for the CD, $4.00 for the Full Album Digital Download.

sale ends April 30

www.billharley.com & Round River Productions
301 Jacob St
Seekonk, Massachusetts 02771
800-682-9522 Michele@billharley.com