Amelia Island parents Rob and Kim Hicks are among the children’s book authors featured at this weekend’s Amelia Island Book Festival.
Their book, Amelia A to Z, is a beautifully illustrated children’s book about the island’s rich history.
Rob and Kim were both born and raised on Amelia Island. Rob is now a guidance counselor at Fernandina Beach High School, and Kim teaches first grade at Southside Elementary School. The book’s illustrator, Sharon Bolton-Eells, teaches art at Fernandina Beach High.
Rob is also the author of the fascinating grown-up book, Images of America: Amelia Island, and he made an award-winning documentary about the island. Here’s what he told Mamamelia about Amelia A to Z and the inspiration behind it:
Q: First, a little about your family. Tell us about your kids
A: We have a 4-year-old boy, Clay, and an 8-month-old girl, Lucy.
Q: For parents who haven’t yet read Amelia A to Z, how would you briefly describe it to them?
A: The book explores all aspects of life on Amelia Island including the nature, history, and people that make it such a special place. There are two blocks of text on each page. One appeals to younger children, the other provides more detail for older kids.
Q: When did the book come out?
A: May of 2011
Q: What inspired you to write a children’s book about the Island?
A: This has always been a special place for my wife and I. We wanted to share all those wonderful things with local children and visitors to Amelia.
Q: What do your readers say about the book?
A: People are floored by the wonderful illustrations. Sharon Bolton-Eells did a marvelous job. People also say they learn a lot about the island from the book.
Q: You now have your own publishing company, Island Media Publishing, that specifically aims to publish more children’s books. What is it about children’s books in particular that interests you all?
A: In many ways, they are easier to publish from a technical standpoint. There also seems to be more children’s book authors out there looking for a publisher.
Q: Do you have plans to write any more children’s books, yourselves?
A: We do have plans, but those are top secret!
Q: Where can people find you on Saturday? Will you be selling and signing your books?
A: We will be at the Amelia Island Book Festival’s Kid Zone from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Kid Zone will be located in the Education Hall at the former First Baptist Church on North Fifth Street in downtown Fernandina. We will have books for sale and would be happy to sign them.
Q: Is there anything else you would like people to know about yourselves or your books?
A: We just hope that people appreciate how much this tiny little island has to offer. The history of this island is pretty remarkable and I enjoy helping show that to others.