Country Road ABC
An Illustrated Journey Through America's Farmland
By Arthur Geisert
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780547194691, 64pp.)
Publication Date: May 24, 2010
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On today's farm, B is for barn cat...E is for erosion...G is for grinding feed, and I is for...inoculate? In 26 beautifully detailed spreads, acclaimed illustrator Arthur Geisert takes readers on a literal journey following a real road in Iowa (County Road Y31) through the ins and outs of America's farmland. This isn't your grandfather's farm book. It still features pigs, hay, and other familiar farm residents, but you'll see a very different kind of quicksand and traffic jam here...Along the bottom of each page is a continuous panorama that totals nearly forty feet of art. Country Road ABC is a unique and funny look at America's present-day farmland.
Arthur Geisert’s unique and exquisite etchings have been widely praised and exhibited at the Chicago Institute of Art, among other museums. His work is regularly selected for the Society of Illustrators’, annual Original Art exhibition, and his illustrations are now being collected by the Dubuque Museum of Art. He lives in a converted bank in Bernard, Iowa.
"Much visual information about farming is provided for lovers of tractors and farm animals, but it's more than a simple picture book; it's a deeply personal account, down to the list of thank-yous on the book's final pages, to the owners whose farms he's drawn"—Publishers Weekly, starred review"Only someone who's walked the walk and driven the tractor—and is immensely creative besides—could take readers on such an accurate, realistic and fascinating alphabetic farmland journey. With his signature etchings, Geisert has illustrated an amazing homage to American farms and farmers. [...]A simply glorious barn and farm opus. " —Kirkus Reviews, starred Review "While the alphabetic arrangement provides an organizational scheme and an informational resource, children will return to the illustrations to revel in Geisert's detailed etchings of farmers working and relaxing. The story spans the four seasons with touches of humor, solemnity, and of course, pigs a-plenty. Several scenes, rendered in strong, black silhouettes, lend an air of calm and contrast. Children may enjoy comparing the style and subject matter to Alice and Martin Provensen's Town and Country (Harcourt, 1994)."—School Library Journal "...a refreshingly realistic view of contemporary rural life[...]the clever design and highly detailed color etchings that stand out. [...]both city and country kids will want to return to its elaborately illustrated pages for repeated viewings.—Booklist "Geisert's take is unique, combining a fresh look at modern family farming in the Midwest with an unerring eye for detail. . . While this book is perfect for alphabet learners who have a fascination with farms and machinery, it also serves as a document of twenty-first-century agriculture and as a love letter to Geisert's home."—The Horn Book Magazine "Much of the fun is in orienting the close-up image of each alphabetical feature into the unfolding panorama at the bottom of the page, particularly when the feature is hidden in plain sight at a tricky angle. There's nothing like a leisurely visit to Midwest farm country, especially if you don't have to muck out the barn."—The Bulletin