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HALLEY CAME TO JACKSON by Mary Chapin Carpenter


by Mary Chapin Carpenter & illustrated by Dan Andreasen

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1998
ISBN: 0-06-025400-9
Publisher: HarperCollins

Not every song translates as well as this one into the picture-book medium, as Chapin pays tribute to an episode from Eudora Welty’s childhood with this warmly sentimental lyric from the 1990 album, Shooting Straight in the Dark. As Halley’s Comet glows in the sky over Jackson, Mississippi, in 1910 and people gather on porches to marvel, a father holds his baby up to the window to see it, and makes a silent wish; the wish comes true when the comet returns in 1986 and an old woman admires it from a porch that once was her father’s. Andreasen expertly depicts both period details and natural-looking people, casting a subdued light over precisely-drawn small-town scenes, across faces with subtly modulated skin tones, and through occasional impressionistic flights. The song’s ruminative mood comes through clearly in this visual rendition. (audiocassette) (Picture book. 6-8)