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Michelle Bolick, left, and Susan Marlowe, two of the four contributors to the area's newest book, “Goodnight Boone,” receive a favorable response from their nearly two-year-old fan, James Boden, of Boone. Photo by Sherrie Norris.

Originally published: 2012-12-12 10:44:10
Last modified: 2012-12-12 10:44:10

'Goodnight Boone' book released

by Sherrie Norris

A quick stop in a New Orleans gift shop in May 2011 has resulted in a new publication that puts a unique and local spin on a well-known children’s book.

“Goodnight Boone” is filled with colorful depictions of several High Country icons and will surely help fill Santa’s sleigh this year as he makes his way into the High Country.

When Boone resident Michelle Bolick and her daughter, Blair B. Proffit, ran across “Goodnight NOLA” during a shopping trip in Proffit’s new hometown, the two became ecstatic as they decided, almost instantaneously, to write “Goodnight Boone.”

“It was mainly Blair’s idea,” Bolick said. “It’s based on the popular children’s book, ‘Goodnight Moon,’ which I read many times when my son, Ben, was little. It was his favorite book.”

The mother-daughter duo took their idea that same night to the hotel room of Bolick’s friend and neighbor, Melanie Greene of Boone, who was also in the Crescent City for a business conference.

Within hours, the trio had basically written the words to “Goodnight Boone.”

“Melanie is so gifted and put the lyrics together for us,” Bolick said. “We all had our ideas and it came together so quickly and beautifully. We almost finished it that night, but we knew we couldn’t do it without the incredible artwork of my friend and co-worker, Susan B. Marlowe. We called her and shared our vision with her. We knew she would bring it all to life for us — and she did.”

Marlowe said on Tuesday that she had always wanted to illustrate a children’s book and described the project as “a lot of fun.” She incorporated some of her existing art in the book, including a painting of Doc Watson playing his guitar within the realm of a star; the piece was completed before Watson’s illness and subsequent death earlier this year.

 “Goodnight Boone” makes its debut this week, after an 18-month wait.

“It took a lot longer to get through the legalities and copyright hoops — and obtaining permission from the people and places we included — than it did for us to write it,” Bolick said. “We wrote it quickly, but had to just sit on it while we did our research and got all the details worked out.”

Described as a children’s book (for all ages), the 20-page “Goodnight Boone” captures much of the area’s history, culture and traditions.

The familiar scenes and personalities, of which Bolick, Profitt and Greene wrote, coupled with Marlowe’s colorful illustrations, give the book a hometown feel— and one that both residents and visitors alike will cherish.

Grandfather Mountain, in its shifting seasonal transformations, serves as a picturesque backdrop for each scene; local artist, Joe Miller — fittingly portrayed as lead character — with two of his original paintings carefully embedded within Marlowe’s work — takes readers through each phase of the story.

Keeping with the original “Goodnight Moon” theme, Miller’s persona bids the same bedtime sentiment to each symbolic representation of life, as we know it, in Boone.

From the late Watson to the figurative weather-predicting woolly worm, the historic swinging bridge, the viaduct and Bandana’s barbecue, to local pharmacist John Stacey, a “familiar” general store, the Blowing Rock and the Appalachian State University Mountaineers, it’s all there.   

“Goodnight Boone” will prove to be a keepsake for families and friends of the High Country for a long time to come.

The book and its authors will be featured at a premiere book signing from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 17, at the Deerfield location of Boone Drugs.

“Goodnight Boone” will be available beginning on Monday for $9.95 at the Deerfield store and at other locations to be announced.

Marlowe’s original paintings, prints and cards found in the book will also be available for purchase on Monday and at other times at

When they are not “creating,” Bolick and Marlowe are busy in their nursing careers, as is Greene, in her role as a professor of curriculum and instruction at ASU. Proffitt is an Arbonne consultant and a new stay-at-home mother.

Having recently become grandmothers, Bolick, Greene and Marlowe agreed to dedicate the book to their new grandchildren.

“Goodnight Boone” is the latest product of Rao Aluri, owner of Parkway Publishers, who Bolick said, “has been so very helpful to us.”

For more information, call Bolick at (828) 406-1540 and watch for the book’s website debut in the near future.

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