The Inspiration Behind ‘Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters’ by Donna McDine
For my latest children’s picture book, Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters, we have to rewind forty-two years to when I was six-years old and ready to embark on my first day of kindergarten. Back then it was not commonplace to attend pre-kindergarten or daycare so this was my first classroom experience. In the so-called good old days, more often than not, mom’s stayed home to raise their children. I look back on my childhood fondly and at times long for the simplicity of those days. Technology was a mute point, we actually had to get up off the couch and walk to the television set to change the channel. There was no distraction of cell phones, iPads’, video games and computers. Good old fashion play, imagination, and conversation were our focal points.
In tribute to a simpler time and to my fraternal twin sister, I initially wrote the story of Dee and Deb Off They Go in response to a Children’s Writer contest. While the short story did not place, I expanded the story at the prompting of my critique group. Thanks, Karin and Marilyn! The writing came from my memories of being separated from my fraternal twin sister, Deb, on the first day of kindergarten and how my anxiety eased throughout the first day. Up until that day, we did everything together and it was strange not to have her by my side throughout our new school experience. What I came to realize during those first days was most kindergarten’s dealt with their own separation issues and that we were relatively in the same boat. From my perspective what made the end of the day exciting for me was when Deb and I would meet back up in the hallway for our journey back home. We chatted non-stop, sharing with one another the details of our day and excited about what the next day would hold.
After several rewrites and edits, I submitted the manuscript to Guardian Angel Publishing. After a few more edits, I was delighted to receive a book contract. The illustrations created by Jack Foster are beyond my wildest expectations and I’m over the moon with the finished product.
As an adult, I realize change is inevitable and for when we embrace change, new doors are opened and amazing things can happen.
Title: Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters
About the Book: The anxiety of finding one’s own place and friends in kindergarten without the comfort of having her fraternal twin sister nearby at first overwhelms Dee until she realizes even without her fraternal twin sister, Dee and her classmates for the most part are in the same boat.
About the Author: Multi award-winning children’s author, Donna McDine’s creative side laid dormant for many years until her desire to write sparked in 2007. Her latest release Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters joins the four early reader children’s picture books, A Sandy Grave(January 2014), Powder Monkey (May 2013), Hockey Agony (January 2013) and The Golden Pathway (August 2010) all with Guardian Angel Publishing. Join McDine as her adventures continue as she ignites the curiosity of children through reading. She writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI.