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Children’s Author Patricia Rust Urges Kids To Put Down Their Phones And Explore, Learn And Grow

Patricia Rust
The author of "Jackie the Angel" and the wildly popular "The King of Skittledeedoo," has now written "Step Away from the Phone" to help children disconnect, tap into their imaginations and seek out friendships with other children. She will take part in a reading and book signing at 1 p.m., Saturday, March 23 at Book Soup.

Posted Monday, March 18, 2019 - 1:20 pm

Patricia Rust has tapped into a social phenomenon. She wants children to put down their Smart phones—and other electronic devices—and be kids.

The author of other children’s books like Jackie the Angel (2018 and named after her mother) and the wildly popular The King of Skittledeedoo (1999), has now written Step Away from the Phone to help children disconnect, tap into their imaginations and seek out friendships with other children.

She will take part in a reading and book signing at 1 p.m., Saturday, March 23 at Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood.

Rust got the idea for her latest book when she was at a doctor’s waiting room and noticed children texting and talking on their parents’ phone. “There were no books, just children glued to their phones,” Rust says.

A long-time advocate for children’s literacy through her nonprofit Power for Kids, Rust has been working and planning the book for several years and even gave early drafts to psychiatrists for review. Some told her they had treated children as young as 5-year-old for cell-phone addiction.

“The response so far has been terrific and I think I’ve really taped into something,” says Rust who has a Ph.D. in child psychology.

Rust’s goal of the book “is to transport children to other places and impart magic into their imaginations.”

The book begins with a boy riding his bike and encouraging friends to “stop texting and come over and play.” What follow is a series of adventures where readers chase rainbows, swim with turtles and create with friends.

Each page also includes a vocabulary word brought to life through the whimsical illustrations by local artist Aiden Khuiphum.

“I tried to think of wacky and fun things kids would do to tap into their creativity, other than looking at a screen,” says Rust. So for “listen,” children dance to an animal band and for “big” they enjoy giant cupcakes.
 
Rust has even thrown in some earth-friendly messages, so for “care” children plant a tree and for “grow” they plant a seed.
 
Rust, who has written for several Emmy-winning TV shows, and Disney TV and features, is currently finishing Head Over Heels, a screenplay about her Beverly Hills’ born-and-bred Mother Jackie Knox Rust, and her life before WWII broke out.
 
Jackie was a classmate of Betty White at BHHS and went on to serve as president and program chair of the Beverly Hills Women Club, where Rust is now an active member.
 
Rust’s books are available on Amazon. —Steve Simmons

 

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