Bill Harley is a children’s entertainer, storyteller and author who has been called “the Mark Twain of contemporary children’s music” by Entertainment Weekly. He uses a range of musical styles and his songs appeal to both children and adults. Harley began singing and storytelling in 1975 while still in college. His work has influenced a generation of children, parents, performing artists and educators. Much of his material is autobiographical, focusing on vignettes from childhood.
With over 30 recordings to his credit he received two Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word Album For Children (albums consisting of predominantly spoken word versus music or song) for his albums Blah Blah Blah: Stories About Clams, Swamp Monsters, Pirates & Dogs and Yes to Running! Bill Harley Live in 2007 and 2009, and five additional Grammy nominations. He has also won numerous Parents’ Choice awards, ALA (American Library Association) awards and the highest award from the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio for his concert DVD Yes to Running.
Harley has also published numerous books. His latest books are a series about the trials and tribulations of fourth grader Charlie Bumpers. The first book in the series, Charlie Bumpers vs. The Teacher of the Year won the Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice award and is part of the One School One Book programming from Read to Them. His first novel for elementary students, The Amazing Flight of Darius Frobisher was chosen by Bank Street School of Education as one of the best children’s books of the year . His second novel for children, Night of the Spadefoot Toads, was released in October 2008 and won a Green Earth Book Award. His picture books, based on his songs, stories and poems also stand out with recognition from Booklist, School Library Journal, Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. They include: Sitting Down To Eat (illustrated by Kitty Harvill) which was selected as an American Booksellers Association Pick of the list; Dirty Joe the Pirate: A True Story (illustrated by Jack Davis) and Lost and Found (illustrated by Adam Gustavson).