Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Night of the Spadefoot Toads by Bill Harley

I’ve been a fan of singer/poet/storyteller Bill Harley for nearly 20 years. Bill Harley delivers his material with energy and passion and his performances on the stage at the International Storytelling Festivals in Jonesboro, Tennessee have always brought audiences to their feet with wild applause.
Although the subject of his material has often been his own childhood, adults eat it up with even more enthusiasm than the kids because they resonate with the layers of truth nestled in his “children’s” stories.
Lately, I have also purchased and read Bill Harley’s books – another forum for this man’s genius. I just finished reading Night of the Spadefoot Toads, the story of a fifth grade boy who is highly interested in the outdoor environment but is floundering with his family’s move from Arizona to Massachusetts. The story’s subjects include environmental protection, the difficulties of moving, and teacher-student relationships (the kid is blessed with a sensitive, seasoned science teacher). This book would be a great read-aloud. I hope that Bill Harley comes out with an audio version of this book because his storytelling talent would certainly make it another worthwhile venue for this noteworthy title.

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