Patricia Rust has received commendations on this important work concerning literacy from the First Ladies of Hawaii and South Carolina and the Mattel Children's Foundation.

Patricia Rust has done literacy presentations for Governor Jim Geringer of Wyoming, and has received commendations from Governor's Bob Taft of Ohio and Christine Whitman of New Jersey.

Patricia is also former literacy advocate, and current contributing writer for the Los Angeles Times.

Patricia Rust received special literary recognition from She also received special spirit support from The Producers Guild of America.

And from an education student:

Hello Patricia, my name is Oscar Gironi. I am a student at California State University, Fullerton, majoring in psychology. I received word of your web page through my mother, who went to the Festival of Books at UCLA. She bought me your book, The King of Skittledeedoo, and you signed it. Thank you very much for your encouraging words. I will be starting the credential program in about a year and I cannot wait to start making a difference in childrens' lives. I truly am very excited and anxious to become a teacher. I read your book and I think it is very cute. I will definitely read it to my students one day. I love the idea of using new and challenging words to keep our children learning and developing their vocabulary. Thank you for being such a wonderful role model. I hope one day I can affect the lives of children the way you have. If there is anything I can do please let me know. I am always willing to do volunteer work and gain experience with children. Thank you so very much.

Literary reviews

Emma's Bookcase:

[The King of Skittledeedoo] is very good ... [more]

The King of Skittledeedoo: Book Review by Bob Strock


Read all about it! By Tara McKelvey,

Tell me a story

Patricia Rust, founder of Power for Kids, Inc. for Literacy, says she has read to more than 28,000 children. When Patricia Rust was working on a television show about literacy in America in the mid-1990s, she called the White House to see whether the president had a library card. Several weeks later, a White House staff member called back. "They said, 'We have the answer to your question,'" Rust recalls. "'The president does not have a library card. And there is a reason. The president no longer needs a library card because we have our own library.'"

Not everybody has a library in his house, though, and Rust started thinking about ways to get Americans, especially children, to read more. She eventually formed a not-for-profit organization, Power for Kids, Inc. for Literacy, which opened in Los Angeles in June. Through her foundation, Rust gives literacy presentations to school groups, does readings at bookstores and gives away children's books. Rust has her work cut out for her.

Only 20% of fourth-graders in public schools in Rust's home state of California read proficiently, according to a study in 1998 by the National Center for Education Statistics. More Sites for Cool Kids Picture Books World of Reading National Gallery of Art for Kids Kidscastle Cool Science for Curious Kids The percentage dips even lower among African-American fourth-graders in California public schools: Only 7% read proficiently. (Nationwide, 29% of children in fourth grade are proficient readers, according to results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.)

Rust hopes to change that through her foundation and her children's book, The King of Skittledeedoo, which is about an ermine-cloaked king who learns how how to read. A one-time Ivory Soap girl who is also a TV scriptwriter (Wonder Years, Golden Girls), Rust has received mash notes about The King of Skittledeedoo from the governors of Pennsylvania and Wyoming; the first ladies of South Carolina and Kansas; Priscilla Presley; Phyllis Diller; and a girl named Mellisa who says Rust is a "storyteller," "poet" and "radical."

Besides writing a children's book, Rust has put together a Web site called that has the slogan "Live, Laugh, Learn." Powerforkids lives up to its billing: Children can click on stories like I Wish I Had a Tail and Jackie the Angel. They also learn about ways to trick parents into reading stories out loud. ("Leave a book out in easy view of the family," Rust writes. "You never know when you can convince someone to read it to you.") And, best of all, children who visit the site will find no banner ads or pop-up boxes with Pokémon cards; the site is supported entirely by the foundation.

Booked up: A little girl helps the 'King of Skittledeedoo' learn how to read. Rust says she has read to more than 28,000 children in her efforts to foster their love of reading. And she has given away 1,300 copies of The King of Skittledeedoo. What does she see in the future for the Rust Foundation? You might call her mission king-sized: "My goal is to ignite that spark of learning in every child."


Encinian Wages Battle to End Illiteracy in Children

...Once such warrior is Encinian, Patricia Rust, 1998 National Library Association Poetry Award winner, children's book author, and award winning feature film and television writer. Her first book, The King of Skittledeedoo, champions the goal of wiping out illiteracy in children - striking a cord with educators and children alike.

Geared to youngsters 4-8 years old, The King of Skittledeedoo gets children excited about literacy and reading, and challenges them to learn new words.

...With two other books on the way, Rust is determined to help make a positive impact on improving the literacy rate of children.

Encino Community News, February 23 to March 7, 2000

Mr. K's Korner

King holding a scepter

"Patricia Rust's The King of Skittledeedoo" by Patricia Rust

Markowitz Publishing $15.00

The King of Skittledeedoo, who brags of his riches and how the townspeople live to admire him, loses all of his magnificent robes and jewelry in a terrible fire. No one in the town recognizes him without his attire, so they ask him questions to see if he truly is their king. Sadly, the king cannot answer any of the simple questions correctly, such as how to spell potatoes, or two plus two. The townspeople doubt that he is their ruler. Luckily for him, two generous children teach him, which leads him to prove to the townspeople that he actually is the King of Skittledeedoo.

The message of Patricia Rust's rhyming story is excellent: basic literacy and academic skills are important for everyone to learn, even kings. It is even more to her credit that she has children teach the king, which shows they can be powerful teachers for adults as well. The lively illustrations by San Wei Chan help to convey the message.

Some of the language in the story is advanced for the audience to which the topic is relevant, which I found to be ages six to nine.

Overall, I found this book enjoyable, though is more useful with younger audiences as a read aloud than a book for independent reading.

-- By Otis Kriegel
Otis Kriegel is an educator for L.A.U.S.D.
This review ran in Brentwood News (Los Angeles, CA), April 2000, Vol. 8, No. 5

My Kingdom for a Dictionary!

Through clever wordplay and memorable rhyme, The King of Skittledeedoo (Markowitz Publishing), a book by award-winning television and feature film writer Patricia Rust, allows children to see the importance of education. When fire breaks out in Skittledeedoo's castle, the king finds himself homeless, without his crown and finely woven duds. Stripped of his glorious garb, he is unrecognizable to his subjects and forced to prove his position. There is one problem, the much-loved king is virtually illiterate and when challenged with spelling the name of his own kingdom, spits out a bunch of garbled letters. With the help of some determined children, the king goes back to school and sails to the head of his class.

UCLA Alumnews, June 1999

The Chattooga Press (Georgia), November 17, 1999

The King of Skittledeedoo will delight young children, while pleasing their parents. The story tells of a wonderful kingdom led by a pleasant king who loved to be admired for his jeweled crown and robe. One day fire destroyed the kingdom, leaving the king with only a towel to cover himself. Without his crown and robe, no one believed the king was the king. To make matters worse, when put to a test, the king could not add, write, or read. Two youngsters liked the king and invited him to go to school with them. The king quickly began to learn the three Rs. Soon he fashioned himself a new crown and robe. Then the kingdom accepted him as their king. The book has a happy ending and teaches the importance of literacy and life-long learning.

The book is beautifully illustrated by San Wei Chan, an award-winning animator and illustrator for Warner Bros. Ms. Rust has been commended for her work in literacy since The King of Skittledeedoo premiered earlier last year. The book would make a great gift or a perfect stocking stuffer for the Christmas season.

Boone County News Republican, December 21, 1999

Patricia Rust wrote The King of Skittledeedoo to improve the reading skills of California's children and adults, hoping to help them reach a third-grade reading level. The king of the story has his own reading problems, and to make matters worse, he can't spell. When his castle burns down and he escapes in a towel, his troubles begin. Happily, even good readers will enjoy the story - and the illustrations from San Wei Chan. It has been well received by reviewers, educators, parents and, most importantly, younger children.

The Norway Current, December 15, 1999

Another story about a king who learns a lesson in life is The King of Skittledeedoo written by Patricia Rust and illustrated by San Wei Chan, published by Markowitz Publishing. The King of Skittledeedoo must somehow save his kingdom after it is burned to the ground. His people do not recognize him and put him to the test - only problem - the king can't read. Two children take him to school and help him learn to read. Children will enjoy the rhyming verse as well as the colorful illustrations. This is a great book to encourage the love of reading and learning.

Written By magazine, August 1999

A king is nothing without his crown, or so says Patricia Rust in her children's tale The King of Skittledeedoo (Markowitz Publishing). When the majesty's castle burns down, he must assume a more provencial [SIC] life that consists of reading, writing, and arithmetic. With rhyming verse and vivid illustrations, there are valuable lessons for kids of all ages to learn.

The King of Skittledeedoo
Sunday, May 27, 3:00 p.m.

Borders proudly welcomes children's book author Patricia Rust for a very special reading of her picturebook, The King of Skittledeedoo. The King of Skittledeedoo is a very happy king and so are his people, until the day tragedy strikes and his kingdom is burned to the ground. The king escapes his castle in nothing but a towel. His people don't recognize him without his crown and regal clothes. They put him to the test to prove his kingly worth but he can't spell the simplest words such as mother or Skittledeedoo. With the help of a few determined kids, the king goes back to school and sails to the head of his class.

Patricia Rust is an award-winning television and feature film writer and president of Power for Kids, Inc.. She serves as the literacy advocate for the Los Angeles Times.

Borders (Montclair) News and Events Newsletter, May 2000.

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