Ainsley Earhardt, cohost of TV’s Fox & Friends, was pregnant with her daughter when she wrote Take Heart, My Child, a picture book reflecting a mother’s hopes and dreams at the beginning of her child’s life. The book skyrocketed to the top of the New York Times bestseller list when Aladdin released it in November 2016. A year later, Aladdin will publish a companion, Through Your Eyes: My Child’s Gift to Me, featuring art by Jihyuk Kim (no relation to Jaime Kim, who illustrated the first book). This picture book draws on Earhardt’s experience as a new mother to Hayden, now 18 months old.
The success of her debut picture book was especially heartwarming to Earhardt, since it was a deeply personal project on multiple levels, delivering both a welcoming message to her then-unborn child and a loving tribute to her father. “My mother, who was a teacher, had to be up and out of the house early, so my father was always in charge of breakfast,” she explains. “My siblings and I would come down to the kitchen to find notes that he had written to each of us—passages from scripture, poems, or sayings he loved.”
When Earhardt began thinking about writing a children’s book and what its focus might be, she remembered those breakfast notes and decided to use them as inspiration. “To write the book, I took lessons my dad had taught me that I wanted to pass on to my child, and wrote them in lyrical form,” she says. “He is an amazing dad, and writing Take Heart—and seeing it on bookshelves—made me appreciate the weight of that, and what a huge difference fathers can make in their children’s lives.”
Earhardt was moved to write a follow-up book as she came to appreciate the small but momentous interludes in her daughter’s life, and to value her fresh perspective on the everyday world. “The very first time Hayden saw rain,” she recalls, “I was holding her as we stood under construction scaffolding, watching rain fall on the street, and she was totally transfixed. And though as adults we usually hate rainy days, for the first time I got to experience rain through my daughter’s eyes—and I realized there is nothing better than that.”
Thankful for her life’s gifts and committed to giving back, the author (as she did with Take Heart) will donate a portion of her proceeds from Through Your Eyes to Folds of Honor, an organization that provides scholarships and assistance to the spouses and children of fallen soldiers in service to America.
Thrilled to be attending BookExpo for the first time, Earhardt is eager to meet booksellers and “thank them for selling Take Heart, and helping so many people to hear my dad’s words.” She is eager to introduce them to her new book and its simple message: “Slow down each moment, take time to watch your child take in all the small things, and enjoy every change.”