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Exclusive Cover Reveal of PLAYDATE by Maryann Macdonald and Rahele Jomepour Bell

November 5, 2018


Today I'm welcoming author Maryann Macdonald and illustrator Rahele Jomepour Bell to the blog to share the cover of their upcoming picture book, entitled PLAYDATE


First, let's take a look at the book description:


A picture book with minimal text and maximum impact, as portrayed through both the well-chosen words and the fun-filled, evocative illustrations.


I'm kind of tickled that this "picture book with minimal text" has an equally tightly-worded description. I invited Maryann and Rahele to finish my sentences. After reading their responses scroll down to see the final cover image.




The idea for Playdate came from... (Maryann) experiencing and observing how excited children get about playdates. Playdates are among the most important events in young childrens' lives, yet I have never seen a single picture book on the subject. So I decided to write one.


When I first read the manuscript for Playdate... (Rahele) it immediately took me back to my childhood, then I tried to remember all my best playdates who we had so much fun together! I even started to find them on internet! And I could find them we are friends again!!!


In the story... (Maryann) which is very simple, a child is waiting for her friend to arrive for a playdate. She is alone and excited. Her visitor is on the way. They meet and are thrilled about playing together. The rhyming text, "Me, You, One, Two," is brief. This lack of text gives kids the opportunity to talk about what's happening in the pictures and relate it to their own experiences. The things the children do together on this playdate reflect what any child might do on a playdate: share and fight over toys, play imaginary games, and meet members of their play partner's family. No one wants to see the playdate end, but at last goodbyes are reluctantly said. The final illustration shows a future playdate, perhaps at the home of the child who was herself the visitor the first time around.


The illustrations for the story... (Rahele) introduce a diverse group of children who the reader will get to know them more while turning the pages and read the book. The pictures let the readers explore the story behind the words.


One thing I hope readers will take from this story is... (Maryann) that while playdates can be lots of fun, they don't always go completely smoothly.


(Rahele) to see them filled up with pure joy and want to go play with their playdate! And make friends, sometimes best friends!


When I was a kid my favorite playdates were... (Maryann) with my friend Susie Spleet who lived around the corner. In those long ago and faraway days, no one arranged playdates in advance. I would just arrive at the Spleets' backdoor and yell, "Susie, come out and play!" If she was home, she would. Then we would play pioneers in her backyard or hopscotch on the front sidewalk. Sometimes we'd read comic books or play with Susie's and her sister Rosemary's toy shop in their basement. Most days, we'd have such a great time that we could barely wait to see each other the next day.



(Rahele) with kids in our neighborhood! I can remember all of their names! We all used to play with dirt, bugs, and toys which we made out of trashes. Now each one of us live in a different part of the world. I should add that the book of PLAYDATE reminded me of my new playdate in my life and it is Darya; my daughter! I can't wait to read this book together.



And just like that we have a COVER!

Okay. Let's take a closer look at this cover.


One of the first things that I notice is that the children picture on the cover look like they're traveling to a playdate and haven't yet reached their destination. See how their eyes are looking forward? See how the dogs snout is pointed upwards? Notice how those feet are in motion?


We've got costumes and beads and kitchen spoon-assisted percussion. I could say, "what else do you need for a great playdate?", but of course the only answer is more friends! (And it looks like that's exactly what we're going to get!)


Navigating the waters of communication and collaboration at an early age is tough, and I think this will prove to be a book that saves space for its readers to observe and reflect on their own experiences via the experiences of the characters in the story..


Thanks, Maryann! Thanks, Rahele! And thanks, Albert Whitman & Company!


PLAYDATE will publish in April of 2019 from Albert Whitman & Company.

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