If you were big and ugly, had a ton of sharp teeth, and a truly enormous appetite, you wouldn't need the "magic word" either! These stories for kids, from acclaimed storytelling songster Bill Harley, center around the theme of being small.
"Mrs Jones 1st grade class loved it!"
Charlie, Tommy, and Hector have high hopes for their soccer team this season until they find out that their new coach isn't all that interested in the fantabulous plays the three friends have worked out together.
Bill Harley's 2003 recording is a very special collection of songs and stories for bedtime about a wonderful and wacky imaginary place, The Town Around the Bend. Harley's long-established humor, meaning, and music are toned down for the quiet time right before the eyes close and the world rests.
Shortly before school starts, Charlie Bumpers learns that he will have the strictest teacher in the whole school for fourth grade. It doesn't matter that she's been named Teacher of the Year. He's still afraid of her. Last year when he was horsing around in the hall, he accidentally hit her in the head with his sneaker (don't ask). How will he survive a year under a teacher who is just waiting for him to make another stupid mistake?
"Great for kids"
Audiences often ask Bill Harley if his stories are true. The answer is both "yes" and "no." While Harley does recall vividly the sights and scents of the lunchroom, he says "Mrs. Lunchroom Lady" is a story about names. Meanwhile, "Weezie" is a folktale many will recognize. It's based on a traditional tale found in many cultures - in Mexico it's called "The Day It Snowed Tortillas."
"The best Bill Harley we've got"
In this collection, Harley, one of today's most prolific and celebrated kid's performers, explores the troublesome and troublemaking times in our life (particularly between 4th grade and middle school). Hear him sing with his trademark hilarity "In the Back of the Bus" and perform "Bottlecaps" (about the confiscation of his world-class bottlecap collection) and "Mr. Anderson," who was Indiana State Bus Driver of the Year (an honor brought upon mostly because he had eyes in the back of his head).
"Made my son afraid to go to middle school"
Charlie and Tommy have big plans for Halloween. They hope to get out of taking their little sisters around and go trick-or-treating in Alex's upscale neighborhood instead. There they'll get tons more candy, they'll be on their own, and afterwards they'll get to attend the sleepover at Alex's house. But when Charlie finds out that the entertainment at the party is to consist of the Scariest Horror Movies Ever, he is struck by panic.
A Grammy-nominated recording artist, Bill Harley - songwriter, storyteller, author, playwright - is known as one of the finest family performers in the United States. His unique combination of song and story, silly and serious, has entertained families for 20 years, and led him to be called "the Mark Twain of contemporary children's music" by Entertainment Weekly.
"Laugh Out Loud..."
Remember 6th grade, where the question, "Are you cool?" takes on cosmic proportions? Acclaimed storyteller Bill Harley revisits the excitement (or was it torture?) in these hilarious true (or at least real!) stories. His wacky tales capture the essence of what it feels like to be a kid, and will delight and engage children and parents alike.
"Bill Harley is like salted peanuts..."
Charlie Bumpers has his heart set on playing the role of the evil Sorcerer in the fourth grade play. He's even got the laugh down pat: Mwa-ha-ha-ha! But his dreams of villainous stardom go up in smoke when he finds out that Mrs. Burke has cast him as the Nice Gnome! Determined to rectify this terrible injustice, Charlie concocts one plan after another, but nothing seems to work. To make matters worse, his dad has assigned chores to all the kids in the family and Charlie's job is walking Ginger, the diggiest, sniffiest, and poopiest dog in the universe.
"Lots of fun!!"
Charlie is looking forward to the big Thanksgiving gathering at his house this year, but he's having trouble being a polite host to his super-annoying little cousin, Chip. Chip makes everything hard for Charlie; he gets him in trouble, ruins his things, and generally makes a nuisance of himself. On top of that, for homework, Mrs. Burke has assigned Charlie the task of writing what a family is to him. How will Charlie be able to see past his turkey of a cousin to understand the real meaning of family?
These wacky, but true, stories from growing up are about trying to figure out how the adult world works, and about having fun no matter how old you are. In this collection, Bill Harley, one of the most prolific and celebrated storytellers of our time, performs "Grownups Are Strange" (and, yes, kids are too!).
The Teachers' Lounge is Bill Harley's newest spoken word recording: a collection of hilarious and dead-on observations about life in elementary school. On this latest recording, two richly detailed and plotted stories of his school experiences ("The Teachers' Lounge" and "The Science Fair") are coupled with three poems.
Here it is! The recording fans have been asking for! A recording that contains the hilarious and completely captivating tale of Dirty Joe, a pirate who steals socks, and his equally odious sister, Stinky Annie, who steals underwear.
"Fun for kids and adults"
In Lunchroom Tales, Bill Harley and his band - the Troublemakers - return to the Delaware Trails Elementary School where Bill once roamed the halls as a student. They kick off their show with the song "Everyone's a Little Bit Different" - but soon, memories get the best of Bill, and he begins to recount adventures and disasters from his former days of glory (or was it torture?). Meet Mr. Hambleman, the custodian (not janitor!) and Mrs. Nottingham, the terrifying 3rd grade teacher (are teachers human, or are they a different species?), explore super cool places like the back of the bus, and enjoy Harley's engaging recreation - through song and story - of what it feels like to be a kid in school.
Everybody knows an Aunt Edith - picky, disagreeable, animal-hating, who couldn't possibly ever have been a kid herself. Well, if you know that Tricky is Jack's escape-artist hamster, you can just imagine the fun in the story "Aunt Edith Meets Tricky." This is just one example of the potential for silliness loaded in this engaging collection, in which master storyteller and songster Bill Harley presents originals, as well as his own, unique takes on old favorites. Others include "Wacka Wacka Woo," "Soap Soap," "Is Not, Is Too," "Tara and the Magic Sack," and "Aiken Drum."
"One of our Favorites"
Whether performing his original tales or retelling an old classic, Bill Harley is one of the liveliest acts going in storytelling for kids. You'll hear a story about a little girl named Sarah as well as Harley's take on what might happen if a kid stayed up all night (something he never got to do as a child) and his version of the old English folktale "Fox's Sack."