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Lost and Found

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  195 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
When Justin loses the special hat his grandmother made for him, he looks everywhere he can think of to find 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. With his grandmother coming to visit soon, his mom upset, and the hat nowhere ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Peachtree Publ
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Maren Banwell
Jun 09, 2015 Maren Banwell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: state-awards
“Today we are going to read a story called Lost and Found by Bill Harley.” Show book cover to students. “As you look at the illustration on the cover, how do you think this boy is feeling right now?” Students respond. “I am going to read the first two pages and I want you to be thinking about some other words to describe how Justin is feeling and what problem he is facing.” (He’s feeling scared and guilty because he lost the hat his grandma made him and she’s coming to visit soon) “What is ...more
Amy Jewell
Apr 20, 2015 Amy Jewell rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Blair, C. (2013). [Review of the book Lost and found by B. Harley]. School Library Journal. Retrieved from

I think the above review is an accurate review of the book. I was pleasantly surprised when reading the review, it is pointed out that the enormous box of the lost and found says, "Caution. Circus Animals. This side up". For some reason I missed that when I was reading the book to my students and of course after reading this review I had to see for my
Dec 02, 2016 Lafcadio rated it really liked it
Shelves: west-end, released
Great story, great art, loved the ending.
Jordan Plank
Sep 27, 2016 Jordan Plank rated it really liked it
Shelves: el-230
I loved this book. I think it's a great book to help encourage kids to step outside their comfort zone. Most little kids do not have a problem doing this but some do. It also shows that our parents used to be just like us when they were kids, they made mistakes too.
Lucy Meadors
This stunning book written by Bill Harley and illustrated by Adam Gustavson tells the story of a little boy that has lost a very special hat. The little boy's grandmother made him a hat with a fuzzy red ball on top. The boy's grandmother is coming soon, so he HAS to find it. His mother constantly reminds him to look for the hat at school. At first, the little boy is determined to find the hat himself. He looks on the playground and asks some of his friends, and none of them had seen it. All of ...more
Patricia Kemp Blackmon
Justin has lost his favorite hat! It is blue and white with orange stars all the way around the hat. The main reason it is his favorite hat is because his grandmother made it especially for him. He just has to find his hat.

Justin and some of his friends looked all over the playground at school for his hat. A friend told him it might be in the Lost and Found. But everyone was afraid of Mr. Rumkowsky the janitor and he was in charge of the Lost and Found. So instead of going to Lost and Found he s
Jan 21, 2015 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Lost and Found, written by Bill Harley and illustrated by Adam Gustavson, is a nominee for the 2014-15 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

Lost and Found is a charming, colorful book about Justin, a boy who has lost his hat. He looks everywhere for this special hat made by his grandmother, but he can't find it anywhere. Eventually, he makes his way to the Lost and Found at school. Everyone avoids the Lost and Found because they're scared of the custodian, Mr. Rumkowsky.

Justin soon learns that Mr.
Every school or neighborhood has one--that elderly man or woman about whom all sorts of stories are told, often unfounded, prompting the children in the school or neighborhood to avoid him/her out of fear. In this book, the school janitor, Mr. Rumkowsky, is feared by the students, and Justin dreads asking him for help when he loses the hat his grandmother knitted just for him. But it turns out that Mr. Rumkovsky is a rather helpful man, not scary at all and that the Lost and Found is filled with ...more
Dec 10, 2013 Jocelyn rated it liked it
Shelves: t-l-544
Genre: realistic fiction
Copyright: 2012

A boy, Justin lost his hat that his grandmother made for him. He must to find it because it's made by his grandmother, but he is afraid of going to the lost and found at school. Actually, all kids are afraid to go there although they loses things since they are too afraid to ask Mr. Rumkowsky who is the manager of the lost and found. Mr. Rumkowsky is very old and the lost and found is way down at the end of the scary hallway behind the cafeteria. In the beg
Nov 12, 2014 Lgourley rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Lost and found is like a treasure box waiting to be discovered. When Justin loses the hat that his grandmother made him his mom told him he better look in the lost and found at school. Justin would rather look anywhere but there. No one EVER goes to the lost and found because it's in Mr. Rumkowsky's office which is down the scary hallway behind the cafeteria. After Justin and his friends look everywhere he finally decides to be brave and go to Mr. Rumkowsky's office. Gulp. Will Justin find his ...more
Melanie Baxa
Sep 14, 2014 Melanie Baxa rated it liked it
Lost and Found is a children's book written by Bill Harley. It has great illustrations and is the winner of the Golden Sower award. It is about a little boy who lost something very special to him and is willing to do anything to get it back, even if that means going and talking to the old and grumpy Mr. Rumkowsky. After finding some of his friends things they lost in Mr. Runkowsky's office he was determined to keep looking through everything he had until he found his hat. He went back every day ...more
Feb 21, 2013 Chrissy rated it really liked it
LOST AND FOUND is an adorable story with beautiful illustrations that would be appropriate and enjoyable for children of all ages! When young Justin loses the special hat his grandmother made him *right* before her visit, he must face the dreaded Lost and Found department down the scary hallway at school. The worst part is the scary old man who guards the Lost and Found -- he's been there ever since Justin's mother went to that school and *every* kid on earth is terrified of him!

The ending was o
Haley Svendgard
Jun 07, 2015 Haley Svendgard rated it really liked it
Shelves: state-awards
"Good morning class. Today we are going to read the book "Lost And Found." Can anyone make a prediction about what this book is going to be about? Very good friends. Can anyone share a story about how they lost something at home, and then found it? Miss Haley will start and then ill call on some friends. My story is really funny. This morning, I couldn't find this book! I knew I had to read it to you guys today and I was looking all over the room for it. It finally showed up in the file cabinet. ...more
Samantha Fate
A great and cute story about a lost hat. I feel like many students can relate to having lost something at school and them feeling embarrassed or scared to look in the lost and found. The story about the boy’s lost hat goes like this, the boy loses his hat and is sacred to get it from the scary janitor. He grows the courage and goes and asks. The janitor has a huge box of lost and found things and tells the boy to go look for his hat he finds many things through the days that he looks for his ...more
ACS Book-finder
Jan 31, 2014 ACS Book-finder rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Madi, 5th grade student:

I read the book "Lost and Found" and I really enjoyed it. You can follow Justin on his adventure through the lost and found box to find his favorite hat. The big question is, "Will he find it in time?"

Note by ACS Blogger: The illustrations by Adam Gustavson again are very appropriate and appealing. Gustavson's creative art is from the perspective of a child's eye view and his two-page spreads are a delight. He really captures to essence of Justin's emotions
Nov 03, 2012 Nicole rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Lost & Found is a cute and ironic ending mystery about a boy who lost hat at school, but he was too afraid to ask the janitor, Mr. Rumkowsky. His hat was blue and white hat with orange stars, with no fuzzy red ball on top as it fell off. His mother keeps asking him if he found his hat was made by his grandmother. After much pressure, the boy decides to find the hat on his own, but after several failed attempts and avoidance of his friends advise to ask the janitor, he finally asks the ...more
Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney
Mar 30, 2013 Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney rated it really liked it
Lost and Found by Bill Harley was an adorable book. It is about a little boy who lost his special hat at school. This hat was made by his grandmother, who is coming to see him over the weekend. His mother tells him to go to the lost and found to look for it. The lost and found, is in the office of Mr. Rumkowsky. The little boy does not want to go to the lost and found because he like everyone else is afraid of Mr. Rumkowsky. Mr. Rumkowsky has been there for a very long time, since the narrator’s ...more
Feb 23, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: for preschool-grade 3
I really enjoyed this book. I think it will be a good addition to the book collection being created for my now-baby nieces. Lost and Found is about a child who loses a hat his grandmother made for him. In his search for it - he needs to find it as his gran is visiting this coming weekend - he must visit his school's Lost and Found, which is staffed by the very scary - to the kids, at least - Mr. Rumkowsky. I liked how Bill Harley described these scenes, and Adam Gustavson's illustrations were mo ...more
Jan 12, 2014 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, picture, 2014
When Justin loses the hat his grandmother made for him, his mom tells him he needs to find it no matter what. Mr. Rumkowsky, the school janitor, has a reputation for being a mean grouch. Justin braves his office and finds his friends' lost items but not his hat. Finally, on the day Justin's grandmother is arriving to visit, Justin finds a hat that looks almost exactly like his at the bottom of an enormous Lost and Found box. The name tag reveals that the hat belonged to his mother. A sweet and ...more
Justin has lost something very important to him, a hat made by his grandmother, and he cannot find it anywhere. His friends help him search the school only to come up empty, leaving him with one last choice. Justin has to go the creepy lost and found room and ask the scary custodian for help. To his surprise the custodian isn’t all that scary and although he finds many treasures in the lost and found box, he does not find his hat. Will Justin find it before his grandmother comes to visi
Nov 29, 2012 Carol rated it really liked it
Justin has lost his hat. It's his special hat made by his grandmother. It is urgent that he find it as his grandmother is coming to visit and she will wonder where it is. Of course, Justin knows he lost it at school so he searches everywhere he can think of - except LOST AND FOUND! That is the last place you look for anything as it would mean talking to old Mr. Rumkowsky! Nevertheless, Justin is forced to go down the scariest hallway in school to visit the dreaded department. Justin finds out ...more
Dec 05, 2014 Shelli rated it it was amazing
I have never read anything by Bill Harley and was compelled to log on to my library website and order several of his books after reading Lost and Found. Such a fantastic read aloud or independent read for children! The characters are all wonderfully developed and many delightful questions can be discussed over this simple yet fun story of a young boy who has lost his wool cap his grandmother knitted for him. Will he dare ask the cantankerous old Mr. Rumkowsky, the schools custodian for help? How ...more
Mar 28, 2015 Diane rated it really liked it
When Justin loses the hat his grandmother made for him, he is forced to look in the lost and found ... which means he has to talk to Mr. Rumkowsky. No one wants to go and see Mr. Rumkowksky, so they just forget about getting their items back. But not Justin. He is determined to find his hat, so he braves the dark hall and the gruff Mr. Rumkowsky. The huge box is filled with all of his friends' items, which he returns to them. He keeps going back and finding more intriguing things, but still no ...more
Kinsey Brown
Jun 11, 2015 Kinsey Brown rated it liked it
Shelves: state-awards
"Have you ever lost something and had to look in lots of places to find it? Have you ever been a little afraid to ask an adult for help? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then you can relate to Justin in the book 'Lost and Found' by Bill Harley. He lost his hat his grandma made for him, and the only hope he has of finding it is by asking the scary janitor, Mr. Rumkowsky. Will he find his hat? There's only one way to find out!"

The opening moves I used for this story are raising que
Amy Adams
May 23, 2014 Amy Adams rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sc-book-awards
When I was a kid, I loved books about little things. Collections of tiny treasures still enchant me, so this book appealed to me as an adult, and I think little me would've liked it, too. The story is very relatable. What kid wants to talk to a seemingly ancient and grumpy old mumbly guy? And what kid doesn't get tired of hearing about how he shouldn't lose stuff?
I thought the illustrations were excellent. They provide a lot of "Can you find..." opportunities. I think this is a great book for e
Feb 02, 2013 Margie rated it really liked it
This is only the second picture book of Bill Harley's of which I am familiar but I completely enjoyed the mini-themes of school story, fear of the unknown, of Lost and Found being a treasure hunt and the surprising twists hidden at the end. Adam Gustavson's oil paintings are a perfect pairing with this story, adding warmth with extra details.

I did not include this in my review but this video is a wonderful chat between the author and illustrator about the making of this book.
Destinee Sutton
Nov 16, 2012 Destinee Sutton rated it really liked it
This is a great picture book for 3rd and 4th graders. It's a clever story about a boy who loses his hat and has to face the dreaded keeper of the lost and found, Mr. Rumkowsky. The boy's mom chides him for losing the hat because his grandmother made it for him, but when the boy finds his hat it turns out to be his mother's hat--and exact copy that she lost when she was a student at the same school. In a great little wordless follow-up, the reader sees Mr. Rumkowsky finding the boy's actual hat.
In this Black Eyed Susan nominee Justin has lost the special hat his grandmother made him -- and she is coming to visit. After searching throughout his classroom and school he finally accepts that he will have to go to the Lost and Found which is presided over by the custodian, Mr. Rumkowsky. His lost and found box is huge -- because everyone is afraid of coming to see him. Luckily for Justin it takes several visits to get through the entire box and by then he realizes that Mr. Rumkowsky isn't ...more
Apr 06, 2014 Helen rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-bmj
This BMJ nominee is a cute story about a boy looking through the school lost and found to find his lost hat. Everyone is afraid of the grouchy looking custodian who has the lost and found in his office so Justin shows a lot of courage when he goes to the custodian's office. He returns all his friends lost items they were too scared to look for and the custodian lets him keep anything interesting he finds, which he shares with his friends. The ending has an interesting twist.
Oct 07, 2013 Betsy rated it really liked it
I love the idea of this book and its plot: a kid asking the mean old janitor (who's not really that mean) if he can look in the giant box of lost and found items for his missing hat. He finds some pretty interesting things in that box (testament to all the kids who've gone before who were also afraid to ask Mr. Rumkowsky for their belongings). But the text in the beginning of the book (first few pages) was a little off to me. Too much set up, perhaps.
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A two-time Grammy award-winning artist and recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the RI Council for the Humanities, Bill uses song and story to paint a vibrant and hilarious picture of growing up, schooling and family life. His work spans the generation gap, reminds us of our common humanity and challenges us to be our very best selves. A prolific author and recording artist, Bill tours ...more
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