baby proof: bedtime stories lately.

September 10, 2020

Back to school? Back to zoom? Back to the kitchen table? I’ve sharpened pencils and cleaned summer’s stash of pebbles and sticks and tiny doll shoes out of backpacks. Silas is back to daycare this week, wearing a mask and a brave smile. Lub-dub. Lub-dub. Lub-dub. Calder is joining him, babbling and blinking at other babies born in a pandemic spring. Lub-dub. Lub-dub. Lub-dub. At home, Faye is waiting patiently for some semblance of first grade to begin and James is prepping for a virtual school year, taught from a tiny home office turned college laboratory. (Lab Three: The Effects of Wearing a Face Mask on Heart Rate. Not yet on the syllabus: The Effects of Pandemic Parenting on Parents and Children.) It’s a very strange September. Lub-dub. Lub-dub. Lub-dub.

But we’re celebrating with (and learning from) nightly reads of two new children’s books, out this month. Heartbeat and Blink! are nonfiction science poetry books, and they’re written by Doe Boyle, otherwise known as Grammy, otherwise known as my mom.

The pair of books are part of Albert Whitman & Company’s Imagine This! series and they’re lyrical and brilliant and stuffed full of scientific facts to satisfy curious kids and their parents. If all else fails with our combination of remote and in-person learning this year, at least I know my kids will be well-versed in the natural sciences (and onomatopoeia) thanks to Grammy.

To celebrate my mom and science, along with the brave school-aged kiddos, their parents, and their teachers, I’m giving away a pair of signed copies of Heartbeat and Blink! on my Instagram page today. All the details on how to enter are over that way.

PS. If you’d like to order inscribed copies of your own, you can order Heartbeat and Blink! directly from my hometown bookstore, RJ Julia. My mom will personalize them herself and have the shop send them your way, directly. Otherwise, find Heartbeat and Blink! at your local bookstore (or request copies for your local library!).

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  • Reply Linda Curtis Zimmerman September 10, 2020 at 12:16 pm


  • Reply Dotty September 10, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    This is amazing! I have a 7 year old boy who loves science, engineering and poetry. He will take these to bed every night! Inscribed, of course!

  • Reply Katie September 10, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    Library purchase requested! Beautiful!

  • Reply Judith Ross September 10, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Let’s hear it for grammy power! I look forward to reading these to my granddaughter in a couple of years.

  • Reply Kim R. September 10, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    My parent job at my daughter’s new co-op school is lower grade librarian! I’ll have to order these. <3

  • Reply Jennifer September 10, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    These look wonderful, and such a marvelous accomplishment! Will order them for my granddaughters.

  • Reply Claire September 11, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    What beautiful books! Congratulations, Doe, and how incredible to have a published mother-daughter duo in the family! I work for a literacy tutoring nonprofit and I’m going to ask that we purchase these books for our five school sites in Seattle. Our elementary students would love them. 🙂

    • Reply Doe September 11, 2020 at 4:28 pm

      Thank you, Claire! Deeply appreciated!

  • Reply Anon September 11, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    How wonderful! Can’t wait to check these out. Did your mom get the Chinaberry catalog when you were growing up? So much overlap in our literary upbringings, and it was a big source of inspiration in our house.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 11, 2020 at 1:40 pm

      Thanks! They’re so great! (I don’t have a memory of the Chinaberry Catalog, but could have just not been on my radar!)

      • Reply Doe September 11, 2020 at 4:26 pm

        We did get the Chinaberry catalog! My personal bedtime reading for several years of Erin’s childhood!

        • Reply Anon September 12, 2020 at 2:54 pm

          Oh, so lovely to hear! My mom’s, too. 🙂 Was so sorry it fell victim to Amazon and I won’t get to read through it as a parent myself now, but thrilled there are blogs like this one shining a light on great children’s stories like yours!

  • Reply Sherry Johnson September 12, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    Giraffes are my favorite animal, so I loved the poetry of that page.

  • Reply Mo September 23, 2020 at 6:20 am

    I can feel my inner pre-school and elementary school age childs eyes widen in thrill and anticipation of rythm and facts and lists and knowledge and imagination, all of my favourite things as a child. I can see the blood inching up the giraffe’s neck like a child climping up a steep ladder, and the rushing down with a gleeful weeeeeeee! (Or maybe that’s just my imagination.)

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