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.