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Press Release Fun: Celebrating National Screen Free Week

Recently I was offered the chance to debut an original piece of art from the multi-talented Bob Staake. The reason? Well, National Screen Free Week is almost upon us.  I don’t think I’m the only one who has noticed a small growth in books that encourage kids to put down their shiny rectangles and engage in life, living, the pursuit of happiness, etc.  Whether they’re books that display the delights of blackouts or titles where cell phones are a thing of the past, it’s a growing movement.

The key facts for why this might be?

Here then, is a lovely little work by the aforementioned Staake-man.

Unplug & Reconnect With Books!
Random House Celebrates National Screen Free Week
Inspired by Dan Yaccarino’s DOUG UNPLUGGED
April 29th – May 5th
NEW YORK (March 14, 2013)— Random House Children’s Books issues the challenge to UNPLUG & READ this spring in support of National Screen Free Weekthe annual celebration from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) that encourages turning off screens and turning on life.  To spread the word, we’re touring four of our most distinguished picture book artists, including Chris Raschka, Bob Staake, Dan Yaccarino and Tad Hills.
The centerpiece of the tour will feature Dan Yaccarino’s latest project, Doug Unplugged (On sale February 12, 2013) about a robot who dares rebel against the constraints of digital learning.
For Yaccarino, a digital artist and self-confessed tech nerd, this may seem counterintuitive. With his two children, however, Yaccarino takes a harder line. “I feel very strongly about the message of my book, DOUG UNPLUGGED. A lot of us spend much of our day in front of one kind of screen or another and we can sometimes lose sight that these screens only reflect life, and that there’s a big, beautiful world out there full of real experiences, people and places.”
Because we at Random House Children’s Books agree with both Dan and his robot friend Doug, we will be launching Random House Unplugs during National Screen Free week, (April 29th – May 5th). This initiative brings together some of the most well-known names in children’s illustrated books, including Chris Raschka, Bob Staake and Tad Hills, to participate in a national tour, school beautification projects and various other activities that help families encourage screen free time.  Each of these bestselling picture book creators is uniquely positioned to speak to the boundless benefits of engaging in screen-free activities and will use their new releases to inspire creativity. In select markets, the illustrators will create indoor and outdoor murals, encouraging students to contribute their own art to the creation.
Screen Free Week is the annual celebration from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) that encourages you to turn off screens and turn on life.  CCFC’s Screen Free Week is a creative response to growing public health concerns about the unprecedented time children spend with entertainment screen media—television, computers, video games, and smart phones. Unplugging for one week provides an opportunity to reset media habits, establishing a healthy, sustainable tradition of media consumption in households and schools.
To support the message of Screen Free Week, Random House Children’s Books will create a Random House Unplugs Video featuring our four illustrators, release exclusive art from each creator with their interpretation of what it means to UNPLUG, and launch a blog tour counting down the days until Screen Free Week, suggesting picture books through teen titles to turn to when the screens turn off. To support parents in their efforts to encourage Screen Free activities, a Guide with book suggestions for all ages, activities and tips for screen-free entertaining is also available. 
About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Martha Bisek says:

    How do I get one of these lovely posters?


  1. […] to the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC). CCFC sponsors the event to highlight concerns about the growing amount of time that kids spend watching television, playing video games, and […]