Lost and Found

Lost and Found

4.3 3
by Bill Harley, Adam Gustavson

A little courage yields unexpected surprises when Justin visits the dreaded lost and found.

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


A little courage yields unexpected surprises when Justin visits the dreaded lost and found.

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 in sight, Justin finally musters the courage to enter Mr. Rumkowsky's domain. There he discovers a whole world of treasures—lost items Justin's friends (and generations of children before them) have been too afraid to claim. Things keep getting weirder and weirder, until way down at the bottom of Rumkowsky's giant box Justin unearths something completely unexpected…

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Our young narrator has lost his favorite hat. His grandmother made it; what will he tell her when she visits? His mother says he must look in the school's Lost and Found. His friends are sympathetic. Everyone is afraid to ask anything of grumpy Mr. Rumkowsky, who was custodian when Justin's mother was at that school. Down the dark hallway Justin bravely goes, to ask Mr. Rumkowsky about his hat. He sends Justin up a ladder to begin searching in a huge box. Justin finds some of his friends' lost things, but not his hat. The next day he discovers all sorts of "weird stuff" in the box, but no hat. He is allowed to keep what he finds; he and his friends enjoy it all. Justin goes ever further down the box, but still no hat. Finally, on the day his grandmother arrives, he finds...well, the ending is an amusing surprise. The jacket/cover introduces Justin amid some of the items that will appear from inside the box. There is a hint of the missing hat on the front end pages. Naturalistic oil paintings on watercolor paper include vignettes and full and double pages with special emphasis on Justin and his friends. A series of text-free pictures present the final surprise. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Harley has created an easily relatable story about a lost winter hat. Lovingly crafted by Justin's grandmother, who will soon visit, the gift causes the youngster several moments of consternation during his search for it at school. Finally, he gathers his courage to ask Mr. Rumkowsky, who is in charge of the Lost and Found, if it is there. Gustavson fills the pages with oil paintings that have varying perspectives. Particularly amusing is the gigantic box that stores all the lost items (the upside-down alert printed on its side reads: "Caution. Circus Animals. This side up"). Children will feel the ominous glare from the custodian, a Wilford Brimley lookalike sporting a full white walrus mustache, as he waits for Justin to go through the plethora of hilarious articles collected throughout the years. When Gran arrives, 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.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Storyteller Harley embodies a child's fears with humor and sympathy. Justin has lost his favorite hat, the one his grandmother made for him. His mother pesters him to find it before grandmother visits on the weekend. After an exhaustive search, the last place to look is the dreaded Lost and Found. Justin's friend Devaun already lost his baseball jacket and was too afraid to go see Mr. Rumkowsky, the ancient custodian and keeper of the massive pile of lost belongings. With stifling tension, Harley has found the perfect emotional pitch to explore such universal childhood fears as visiting mysterious corners of the school or facing a terrifying adult. This story captures the essence of a brave child who confronts Authority. Not surprisingly, Mr. Rumkowsky is much kinder than he looks, but his gigantic box harbors much that is unsuspected. Harley's view of the elementary-school world succeeds in making Justin's fanciful experience palpably real. Gustavson enhances the dramatic mood with realistic double-page spreads that artfully use a child's-eye perspective. The word "CAUTION" blazes from a cleaning bucket. There are endless locks on the janitor's door. Leaves scatter everywhere, just like a young boy's belongings. Within this child's view of the world, full of questions and pressure and misunderstanding, wisdom comes--sometimes from the unlikeliest places. (Picture book. 5-9)

Product Details

Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.40(d)
AD390L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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Lost and Found 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
ACS_Book_Blogger More than 1 year ago
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 and flow of the story. DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Lost and Found was provided by the publisher, Peachtree, in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely our own. No compensation was received for this review.
eheinlen More than 1 year ago
The writing was ok and the pictures were great, but the story really seemed to lack substance. It was over just as quickly as it started. I understand the point of it, which is don't judge someone before you know them, but I think it needs to be better spelled out if you are trying to get that point across to a little kid. Also, the author might have also actually described some of the weird things that the kid found instead of just having pictures of them.
Its_Time_Mamaw More than 1 year ago
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 searched all over his classroom and still had no luck finding his hat. He was not ready to go to Lost and Found. After several days of looking for the hat his mother reminded him to go to the Lost and Found. OH, NO! That means he would have to face Mr. Rumkowsky. Where could Justin find his hat? Will he face Mr. Rumkowsky at Lost and Found? The author's tale is one many children have to face at one time are another. Like facing a teacher, librarian, principal or maybe even the janitor. He emphasizes on how kids feed on each others fear. When there is usually nothing there to fear but fear itself. The illustrations are right on with the authors story. The characters are realistic as is all the the lost and found depicted in the story. It is a fun tale of many things lost and found. I highly recommend this book. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Peachtree Publishers for review. I was in no way compensated for this review it is my own opinion.