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Azar’s ‘One Mississippi’ being turned into children’s book

Sarah Frances Hardy
Author and illustrator Sarah Frances Hardy discussing "One Mississippi" children's book at the Mississippi Children's Museum

Steve Azar’s “One Mississippi” was recently named an official state song, and now, it’s being turned into a children’s book.

The book, written and illustrated by Oxford native Sarah Frances Hardy, is centered around seven characters who walk readers through the lyrics of the popular song focused on Mississippi history.

“The song is so good,” Hardy said on Good Things with Rebecca Turner. “The lyrics really lend themselves to all of the wonderful things you can think about going on in Mississippi. It’s such a positive song, and I’m having such a good time with the book.”

Characters featured in the “One Mississippi” children’s book (Photo courtesy of Sarah Frances Hardy)

“One Mississippi,” which was written by Azar in 2016 for the state’s bicentennial, talks about everything from Mississippi’s geography to its deep music and literature history. It was signed into law as one of several state songs in July 2022.

“It took a lifetime for me to live the lyrics of ‘One Mississippi,’ but it only took me less than a day to write it,” Azar said. “Sarah Frances has worked her tail off on this… I have to tell you I’m just grateful for her. [The book] is absolutely mind-bogglingly perfect.”

The “One Mississippi” children’s book is set to hit shelves this fall. The full interview with Hardy and Azar can be watched below.

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