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