Monday, February 1, 2021

Winter Reading 2021 Journey Around the Sun: The Story of Halley's Comet

Told from the point of view of the comet, this picture book traces the history of humanity's fascination with this celestial visitor. Various times in history are shown and small-print captions within the illustrations provide extra details. Observations from Ancient Greece, imperial era China and medieval England offer varying descriptions and dates of the comet's appearances. Images show the different ways the comet was described - "a hairy star," "a bushy star," "a great sword of flame," and even a peacock's tail. 

It is amazing to think that civilizations as far back as 240 BCE and as far apart as China, Babylonia, Italy, and Egypt have all documented sightings over the centuries.  And the inclusion of the comet in clay tablets,  paintings, writings, and tapestries preserved the information for later generations. Edmond Halley is introduced as the first to predict the comet's return, then later viewing parties and observers are shown, including the Giotto spacecraft. The final spread predicts the next return and asks if the reader will be watching.

An author's note about his own viewing of Halley's Comet, an explanation of comets with a labeled photo showing the nucleus, coma, and tails. A list of sources from the author's research are included.

An entertaining and informative way to introduce young readers to Halley's Comet and comets in general. Scheduled for publication March 15, 2021.

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