Rhonda Patton is a children’s book author and a mother of two children: a teenager and a four-year-old. The Croak 500, Rhonda, and her husband Chester McDaniel’s website, is where you can find stories that teach kids how to survive bullying. Chester helps Rhonda illustrate the characters in all her books, and he also co-writes a few of the stories with her.
One story, Grayson the Bully Frog with Ted and Raymond, portrays how bullying feels for a young child. It also tells a story from the bully’s point of view and shows that it’s not only the person bullying who hurts.
Rhonda is fulfilling her dreams since she was young by being a writer and furthering her education in graphic arts. Her book African Safari with Ted and Raymond was featured in MOMTASTIC by Kristin Davis of “Sex and the City” fame who included Rhonda’s book in her article 8 Awesome Elephant Books I Read to My Daughter (and You Should Read to Your Kids)! To learn more about Rhonda be sure to read her interview below.
How do you think schools can prevent bullying from happening?
I feel if we teach our kids when they’re young not to bully others, then we can have a new generation of kids knowing how others will feel before the bullying even takes place. Just like teaching them to walk or talk. You have to implant the ideas about what is right and wrong. It’s like telling a child “NO!” to something that is not good for them. Teach them about bullying in the schools, at a young age, and then they will understand it is wrong.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing as a young child. I would write poetry about my feelings. I was bullied as a child myself, so when I would feel down or sad I would write my feelings down, and it would give me comfort. As an adult, I love to write and try to help our next generation with problem-solving, teaching them not to be selfish and that it is okay to be in second place. Kids need to learn that it is okay to lose and fun to win, but all are still winners for trying.
As a mother how do you juggle writing and raising your kids?
Great question. Ha. It is very hard doing what I do. During the day now, my kids are in school. I get a lot more accomplished now than I did before. I am also a full-time graphic arts student. In March, I received my associate’s degree, and within a year and a half I will have my bachelor’s degree. I also own an online business, so juggling these is very hard, but I love crockpot meals! I also have a wonderful husband who helps greatly with the kids.
Tell us a little about Freckled Frog Designs. Why did you decide to start it?
Being an author myself with a budget (or shall I say, less than a budget…lol) I wanted to go to school to help other authors make book covers inexpensively so they could still have some money left over for marketing. It is also a passion. I love designing Facebook covers for people just for practice. I have made many, and I love helping others.
Children’s Book Reviews by Rhonda seems like a fun website. Will you be reviewing all kinds of children’s books soon?
I read to my five-year-old son nightly before he goes to bed. It is fun, and it gives me a chance to review the book for others. I try only to review books that have 50 pages or less — I am pretty busy with school!
What are some tips you can give parents and teachers when teaching children how to read?
My son is five, and he can read well. He has a love for learning. My daughter knew her ABCs before she could talk — she pointed out the letters. I say work with your kids, make it a game, watch learning videos on YouTube with them, anything that will help them in life to learn and get a better education. I had a very hard time in school. I was not the greatest at learning quickly like the other students. I will not say I was not smart, I am. I just didn’t catch everything; it took me longer than others.
What do you think about KidLit TV?
I think what [KidLit TV is] doing is awesome. I think this is a great opportunity to let authors of children’s books come together and celebrate our work to make children want to read, have fun and learn while reading.