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Fodor’s Around Toronto with Kids

by Kate Pocock

Fodor’s Around Toronto with Kids by Kate Pocock is the latest in a wave of kid-centred Toronto guides, following on the heels of Lobster Press’s Toronto guide by Natalie Comeau, Anne Holloway’s Toronto with Kids, and Nathalie Prézeau’s Toronto Fun Places. It’s also the first Canadian kids’ guide published by Fodor’s, which has also done similar books for Paris, London, and major American cities.

What does the Fodor guide offer that’s new and different from the other Toronto kids’ guides? Not much outside of its handy pocket-size format. Like the others, it is written by a Toronto parent-author who has field-tested the recommendations with her own children. The parent expert here is Kate Pocock, who writes a bi-weekly column on family travel for the Toronto Sun. Her 68 capsule descriptions of the most “kid friendly” of Toronto’s many indoor and outdoor attractions are the best thing about the guide. Well researched and entertainingly written, the alphabetically arranged entries are jam-packed with intriguing, offbeat facts to twig the interest of even the most resistant kid. Alongside each entry are sidebars listing nearby cheap eateries and info on admission and age suitability.

However, the readability of Pocock’s prose is hobbled by poorly designed pages. Too brightly busy, the combination of red ink and tiny typeface (even smaller in the sidebars) is definitely eye-unfriendly. Since most outings are planned by activity type, it would have been more useful to include a detailed division by category of attractions at the front instead of the back, and both car and transit directions on how to get to all the places, not just those outside the city. There’s more bang for the buck in Comeau’s, Holloway’s, and Prézeau’s books, all more creatively conceived and comprehensive guides geared not just toward tourists but for city dwellers.


Reviewer: Sherie Posesorski

Publisher: Random House of Canada


Price: $17

Page Count: pp

Format: Paper

ISBN: 0-679-00723-7

Released: June

Issue Date: 2001-8


Age Range: all ages