A (mostly) Kids’ Guide to Sanibel & Captiva Islands and the Fort Myers Coast, by Karen T. Bartlett. Mostly Kids Guides LLC. 80 pages. Oversized paperback $19.95.
Wow is the word for this second entry in Karen T. Bartlett’s Mostly Kids Guides series. And while these dazzling, humorous, and information-packed books are aimed at kids, even a 75-year-old like yours truly can enjoy them. What’s not to like?
An intense color palette, high-energy graphics, and the friendly voice of a caring story-teller combine with a treasure trove of data and plenty of kid friendly attitude.
This book is as thorough as 80 oversized pages can be while keeping the focus on children, their parents, and grandparents. Excitement is everywhere, as are helpful hints. Ms. Bartlett also includes quirky quiz questions to keep readers engaged.
Maps help set the scene, and abundant photographs detail it and stimulate our appetites for exploration.
Manatees, roseate spoonbills, iguanas, loggerhead turtles, bald eagles, and all kinds of regional animal life parade through the books. All the places that offer environmental education (and there are far more than you’d think) are lovingly described. Places that are just plain fun are enumerated with fondness and precision.
Annual festivals, pirate lore, the distinctions of the various beaches, local transportation, Indian mounds, fishing guides, miniature golf, picnic spots – it’s all here.
And there’s more than just what’s indicated in the title. The other barrier islands that protect the Fort Myers coast also receive attention: Cabbage Key, Gasparilla Island, Pine Island, and Cayo Costa are on the itinerary of the imagination. So is the “sand castle capital of the universe,” better known as Fort Myers Beach, with all its vacation attractions. It takes up Estero Island. On another Island is Lovers Key State Park, whose joys Ms. Bartlett sings.
There’s plenty here, as well, about “mainland” Fort Myers.
Can you overuse works like ”fantastic?” Just in case, Karen Bartlett indulges her penchant for coinages such as “sand-sational” and “ginormous.” She’s got a gazillion of them! A kind of laugh-out-loud, raucous music for a child’s ear. Hey, if the kids are laughing, then the adults who are taking them through the wonders of this stretch of Southwest Florida are going to be happy too. . . .
To read the entire review, as it appears in the February 8, 2017 Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the February 9 Naples, Bonita Springs, and Palm Beach editions, click here: Florida Weekly – Kids’ Guide to Sanibel & Captiva
You can buy this book online and at many area shops, including: Barnes & Noble – all three stores: Naples, Estero & Fort Myers.
Cottontails Children’s Boutique, Collier County Museum (main)
Annette’s Book Nook – Fort Myers Beach, Bailey’s General Store – Sanibel, Edison and Ford Winter Estates – Fort Myers, Gene’s Books – Sanibel, MacIntosh Books & Paper – Sanibel, Nanny’s Childrens Shoppe – Sanibel, The Shell Factory – North Fort Myers, Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts – Sanibel, Tween Waters Inn Island Resort – Captiva, South Seas Island Resort – Captiva
Naples-based publishing company Mostly Kids Guides, LLC took top honors in Salt Lake City this past spring in the IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) Benjamin Franklin Awards. The winning book, earning the Silver award for travel, was “A (mostly) Kids’ Guide to Naples, Marco Island & The Everglades.” It was the only travel book among the top three winners featuring a U.S. destination. The other two winning books featured Paris and Naples, Italy.
With over 3,000 members, IBPA is the largest publishing trade association in the U.S. The Benjamin Franklin Awards are among the highest honors in the industry.”