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Pigging Out

To visit award-winning children's book author and illustrator Arthur Geisert, set your sights for the countryside. And instead of a road map, bring along one of his books to guide you.

The relaxed pace and natural beauty of the northwest Illinois community of Galena pulled Geisert away from Chicago more than three decades ago, and the small town has shaped his work ever since. When not populating his popular children's books with his farming neighbors' pigs, Geisert teams up with his wife, Bonnie, to produce a series of books on life in rural communities across the country.

Working diligently from his home studio, Geisert alternates between churning out pig-full etchings and working on Rube Goldberg-like plots for his stories.

But his work hasn't just been a hit with children and with book critics. In 2003, the Art Institute of Chicago invited the artist to show his meticulously carved and colored etchings.

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What do Arthur Geisert and Rembrandt have in common? For one, their itch for etching. Take a tour of the Art Institute's 2004 exhibit of Rembrandt's work, which includes not only the Dutch master's timeless paintings, but also his equally mesmerizing etchings.

And be sure to check out the work of Chicago artist and illustrator Scott Gustafson, who in 2003 launched a collection of 10 illustrated stories in his book, Classic Fairy Tales.

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Learn about what drew artist Arthur Geisert to his quiet corner of northwest Illinois.

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Watch Arthur Geisert at work preparing and etching for another of his books.


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Geisert's porcine paradise gets shaken up over spilled milk.

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The imaginative setting for Geisert's pig tales.


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