Hogwash ) memorializes a way of life that has dwindled to a small population of st"/>

Country Road ABC: An Illustrated Journey Through America's Farmland

Arthur Geisert, Author . Houghton Mifflin $17 (64p) ISBN 978-0-547-19469-1

In this loving record of the Midwest farm community in which he lives, Geisert (Hogwash ) memorializes a way of life that has dwindled to a small population of stalwarts. Pastoral charm is not Geisert's aim; eschewing apples and aprons, he begins with “A is for ammonia fertilizer.” His finely worked etchings, colored in muted shades, sweep across a sprawl of fields and roads, from a sandy gully being filled in by backhoe (“E is for erosion”) to a boarded-up schoolhouse at the top of a rise (“U is for uphill”), its schoolyard occupied by sheep (the book's sly glossary defines uphill as “where the schoolhouse used to be located. Both ways, of course”). Each spread shows a single farm scene, while along the bottom a continuous scroll of country road runs through the farm year, from planting to harvest to deep snowfall. 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. Ages 5–8. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/05/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
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