federal parks including exhibits at Fort
Mackinac on Mackinac Island and
Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City.
Gijsbert has illustrated the four
“Great Lakes Regions" series of books,
including The Mammals, The Ancient
Life, The Reptiles and Amphibians,
and The Insects of the Great
Lakes Regions. You can find his work
in Owls of North America and
The Best of Wildlife Art and
The Island Within Us. He is also
one of five illustrators for The Birds
of Michigan, a large hardbound
volume with text and illustrations
of the birds of Michigan. His five
different DNR habitat posters
(The Wetlands, Dunes, Rivers,
Beech-Maple Forest and The Jack
Pine) are used throughout the state as
a popular tool to educate the public on
Michigan's diverse resources.
Spring of 1998, Sleeping Bear Press
of Ann Arbor, Mi., released his first full
color children's book, The Legend
of Sleeping Bear. The book was later
honored as Michigan's Official State
Children's Book. And thus began his
career as a children’s book illustrator.
As wildlife rehabilitators, Gijsbert and
Robbyn, with the help of daughters
Heather and Kelly, cared for orphaned
and injured wildlife for over 20 years.
They cared for everything from foxes,
fawns, opossums and skunks to raccoons,
rabbits, hawks and owls.
He is most proud of his Hazel Ridge
Farm children’s book series on which he
collaborated with his wife, Robbyn.
These true stories, taken from their years
of caring for wild animals, are filled
with his beautiful illustrations.