Monday, October 4, 2010

Country Road ABC

Country Road ABC: An Illustrated Journey Through America's Farmland
written and illustrated by Arthur Geisert
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children) 2010
Source: Mebane Public Library 
Check out Nonfiction Monday at Madigan Reads

Our kindergarten classes spend a week each year studying about farms and the week culminates in the Farm Breakfast on Friday morning. I just spent a few moments this past Friday eating breakfast with a cute kid who also happens to be my daughter. Country Road ABC would fit perfectly in this unit of study. Arthur Geisert has created a series of 26 illustrations that show daily life on the Iowa farmland where he lives. The detailed illustrations are humorous and informative. My favorite illustration is for the letter I which is represented by the word inoculate. In the illustration, there are pigs that have red spray paint marks on their backsides. Geisert explains in the accompanying glossary that "the red spray paint is to keep track of who has been given a shot already!" For kids that are not familiar with farm life, this book would be a great introduction. You could create a Venn diagram comparing where you live with life on an Iowa farm. I really like this book because it's not cutesy, but instead an unvarnished detailing of different aspects of farm life. The letter W is winter afternoon where Geisert shows people in a store playing cards and drinking coffee. His explanation in the glossary is that "there is not a lot to do on a winter afternoon in the country - except maybe play some cards and drink some coffee."

Below is an interview with Arthur Geisert where he shows how he creates his illustrations using etchings.


  1. Thanks for participating in NonFiction Monday!

    I love Geisert's work. There are so many intricate little details, you could go back and pore over this again and again. Not as much Rube Goldberg stuff here, but still, a very, very enjoyable book.

  2. Geisert represents one of the many holes in my knowledge. I need to check out more of his books. Thank you for visiting and for hosting this week!

  3. Oh, Geisert does pigs beautifully and usually has crazy contraptions in each of his works. He has such a dry sense of humor, too. You must check out The Giant Ball of String, if you can. It is hilarious! Read it aloud in a deadpan voice, you'll see what I mean.


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