Published Books



Brewed Awakenings, 2007

An illustrated journey of 35 of the best coffeehouses from Chicago to the Canadian border. This 112- page book c a p t u re s the magic and unique flavor of one-of-a kind coffeehouses from K e n o s h a (Common Grounds) to Cornucopia (Siskiwit Bay Coffee). Hagen visited more than 100 little shops and discovered, “There is a depth of human character here that is as deep as a bottomless cup of coffee … They provide old-fashioned values of genuine conversation, bottomless vessels of humor and unpretentious concern for our neighbors … They are sacred places for the soul, a quiet place to rest from the storms of humanity.” Just as McCann’s Rough Stuff is about something more important than golf, Brewed Awakenings reveals life in these enchanted java-joints served warmer and sweeter than a double-shot latte.



Hiawatha Passing, October, 1995

"Hiawatha Passing" is everything a picture book should be; visions so convincing that they remind you of places you've never seen, controlled excitement, the stuff of dreams. It's a book about a train and much, much more.

Mary Lou Burket of The Minneapolis Star and Tribune


"The text reads like a prose transcription of a lyric poem, with a sequence of poetic images. That one or two minutes, in real time, have been turned into an unforgettable moment is no small feat, this has the mood of a Robert Frost poem."

Kirkus Syndicated Reviews


"One of the ten best children's books in America this year."

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt/ senior book critic of The New York Times




Fry Me To The Moon: An Illustrated Journey to Wisconsin's Famous Friday Night Fish Fry - And Beyond!, May, 1999


"This charmingly irrepressible little book contains everything you have ever needed to know about Wisconsin's great cultural institution: the Friday night fish fry. Written and illustrated by Jeff Hagen, it wears its whimsy with pride."  

June Sawyer of The Chicago Tribune






Codfather 2: An Illustrated Journey to Midwest Fish Fries and Beyond, August, 2001

Here is the eagerly awaited sequel to Fry Me to the Moon, the little book that endeared itself to the hearts of thousands of fish-fry lovers everywhere. This time around, Hagen visits all those Wisconsin fish fries that readers chastised him for missing the first time, and he bravely goes into Illinois and the Twin Cities to find new fish to fry. Hagen visits supper clubs, taverns, clubs, and churches, and finds good fish, good people, and good times everywhere. Besides his winsome illustrations, Hagen provides much helpful advice for those visiting a fish fry, including a fishy vocabulary and tips on what kind of car to drive to a fry. A delightful and deep-fat-filled journey for fish-fry lovers in Wisconsin and beyond, and a virtual instruction manual for out-of-staters.





Searching For the Holy Grill, February, 2004


If you're looking for a good burger joint, ask any Midwesterner, as Jeff Hagen did in his latest literary mission across the heartland.  His cleverly written tour of 37 eateries in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa captures the flavor of each establishment".

Reviewed by Wisconsin Trails Magazine






Steeple Chase, October, 1996

Quote from Martha Sawyer Allen, religious editor of the Minneapolis Star/Tribune

"I've just encountered a lovely little book by a Wisconsin author Jeff Hagen It's called Steeple Chase and it chronicles in lyrical words and evocative drawings the heart and soul of 50 little churches in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Hagen intends the book to be a  travel guide and he includes driving directions to each location. BUT, it's more then just a guide for the's a trip for the soul."




Betsy, "The Best Car I Ever Owned"

Auto-Biographies of America's Favorite Cars   June 1995


Author/artist Jeff Hagen theorizes that most Americans have one favorite car that stands out from all the rest.  He tested this theory in six American Sunday newspapers with a cover story and an illustrated invitation for readers to respond. He received over  3,000 letters (in pre e- mail days) telling him their stories.

This little book covers the 50 best stories along with his illustrations and observations. Hagen writes "Cars are more then nuts and bolts to  most Americans. They are iconic vehicles of life carrying us, along with friends and family, down life's road equipped with four thumping tires, assorted rattles, mechanical dysfunctions, and a trunk full of fond memories."

Review by the Milwaukee Journal /Sentinel



Northern Retreats: A Guide to Unique Lodging in the Upper Midwest, September, 1991

Share Jeff Hagen's gentle humor and his appreciation for these small comfy places tucked away in the North Country. Hagen, also known as The Artful Lodger, visited over 250 inns, cabins, vintage hotels, B&Bs, and other unique lodges. He stayed, he ate, he slept, and he drew the 50 best places to park your head on a soft comfortable pillow and zzzz out under a star filled indigo night sky nestled deep in the  Northern forest.


Copyright © Jeff Hagen

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