Project Description


Lost and Found

by Bill Harley
illustrated by Adam Gustavson

Courage yields unexpected surprises when Justin visits his school’s dreaded lost and found. A witty, award-winning story about childhood fears from Bill Harley and Adam Gustavson.

“With stifling tension, Harley has found the perfect emotional pitch to explore such universal childhood fears.” ―Kirkus Reviews

When Justin loses the special hat his grandmother made for him, he looks everywhere for it. Everywhere, that is, except the lost and found.

Mr. Rumkowsky, the old school custodian, is the keeper of all the lost and found items, and everyone is afraid of him—including Justin. When he finally musters the courage to enter Mr. Rumkowsky’s domain, he discovers a whole world of treasures. But things keep getting weirder and weirder, until way down at the bottom of Rumkowsky’s giant box, Justin unearths something completely unexpected…

Bill Harley and Adam Gustavson team up to deliver a fun and relatable story about fear and expectations. An award-winning read-aloud!


Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education
Parents’ Choice Approved Award ―Parents’ Choice Foundation
Society of School Librarians International Book Awards (Honor Book, Language Arts Picture Books) ―Society of School Librarians International

Format: Hardcover
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-628-4
Publication Date: 10/1/2012
Page Count: 32
Size: 9-1/2″ x 11″
Age Range; 4 – 8
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-56145-995-7
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

AR Level: 2.5
F&P: GRL M, Gr 2, Genre RF
Lexile: AD390L
Themes: Courage, Family, Honesty, School
BISAC 1: JUV035000 JUVENILE FICTION / School & Education
BISAC 2: JUV019000 JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories
BISAC3: JUV051000 JUVENILE FICTION / Imagination & Play


“An easily relatable story…readers will grasp the joke and have an additional laugh as they view the artwork on the final pages. The large-size font will be an aid to those learning to read using the picture clues. A welcome addition.” ―School Library Journal

“With stifling tension, Harley has found the perfect emotional pitch to explore such universal childhood fears…Gustavson enhances the dramatic mood with realistic double-page spreads that artfully use a child’s-eye perspective” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Gustavson’s well-composed paintings bring the story to life on the page through expressive character portrayal and the clever details of setting… An excellent read-aloud choice for classroom or library.” ―Booklist

Read More

“Harley’s text and especially the dialogue is spot on… Adam Gustavson’s oil paint illustrations are a total delight and extend the story wonderfully” ―Booklist Online

“Adam Gustavson’s illustrations are spot on, especially on the double-spread of Justin in the enormous Lost and Found box ” ―Parents’ Choice

“Author Bill Harley captures the essence of childhood misunderstandings that can only be erased through confrontation. Gustavson adds nerve wracking drama through illustrations from a child’s eye’s view…A RECOMMENDED picture book for ages 4-8 that will not only help with confronting fears, but teaches that others aren’t always as they appear.” ―Boys to Books

“Every child and parent on this earth can relate to and appreciate the story and marvelous illustrations in Lost and Found” ―Good Reads with Ronna

“Boys and girls will love Lost and Found… Librarians and teachers will love this book for its perfect story time quality, the expressive text matched with the dynamic illustrations… Mr. Harley and Mr. Gustavson have produced a picture book that is unique yet captures a common childhood dilemma: the fear of authority.” ―Kid Lit Reviews

“Bill Harley’s skills as an oral teller translate well in his written work. Through his use of dialogue character personalities shine…Every single time I read this book I discover some new detail in the realistic, full color oil paintings rendered by Adam Gustavson…Whether sharing one on one or as a group read aloud, this is a winner.” ―Librarian’s Quest

“A creative story with interesting illustrations.” ―Lit for Littles

“You’ll thrill at the unexpected treasures found in that chest of chests called the lost and found. Take a moment to marvel as it’s all brought to life with striking illustrations that appear to be painted works of wonder. Share in the message that judging a book solely by its cover or a person by the passing impression they present is not the way to live a full and rich life” ―Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

“Something in this book really resonated with my little monkey. We’ve read it repeatedly from the moment it arrived… It seems each time we read it together, we talk about something new. I love that!” ―Teresa’s Reading Corner

Read Less


Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education, 2013

Parents’ Choice Approved Award ―Parents’ Choice Foundation, 2012

Society of School Librarians International Book Awards (Honor Book, Language Arts Picture Books) ―Society of School Librarians International, 2013

Read More

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Starred, Primary) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2013

Great Lakes’ Great Books Award (Honor Book, Grades 2-3) ―Michigan Reading Association, 2013-2014

Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Awards (Nominee) ―Arkansas Department of Education, 2014-2015

Bill Martin, Jr. Picture Book Award (Nominee) ―Kansas Reading Association, 2015

Black-Eyed Susan Book Award (Nominee, Picture Book) ―Maryland Association of School Librarians, 2015-2016

Children’s Book Award (Nominee) ―Florida Reading Association, 2013-2014

Delaware Diamonds (Nominee, Grades K-2) ―Diamond State Reading Association, 2013-2014

Golden Sower Award (Nominee, Primary) ―Nebraska Library Association, 2014-2015

Maine Chickadee Award (Nominee) ―Maine Association of School Librarians, 2013-2014

Show Me Readers Award (Nominee) ―Missouri Association of School Librarians, 2014-2015

South Carolina Picture Book Award (Nominee) ―South Carolina Association of School Librarians, 2014-2015

Volunteer State Book Awards (Nominee, Primary) ―Tennessee Association of School Librarians, 2014-2015

Storytelling World Resource Awards (Winner, Stories for Young Listeners) ―Storytelling World, 2014

Read Less

You May Also Like

Meet the Author

Bill Harley is a two-time Grammy Award-winning storyteller, musician, and writer who has been writing and performing for kids and families for more than twenty-five years. He is the recipient of Parents’ Choice and ALA awards. He won a 2007 Grammy Award for his children’s storytelling album Blah Blah Blah and a 2009 Grammy Award for his children’s spoken-word album Yes to Running! Bill Harley Live. He lives in Massachusetts. You can visit his website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Adam Gustavson is the illustrator of more than twenty books for children, as well as numerous periodicals. He holds a master of fine arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and teaches at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He lives in New Jersey. You can visit his website here.