The perfect beach read, Shape of a Boy is a laugh-out-loud travel memoir featured in National Geographic Traveller’s best travel books of 2022
‘Have kids, will travel’ is veteran travel journalist Kate’s mantra. Her intrepid spirit is infectious in this warm, engaging account of her family’s adventures and misadventures. She shares the life lessons learnt on their travels, from overcoming disappointment in Thailand to saying sorry in Japan, discovering perseverance in Borneo and learning about conservation in Malaysia. Kate’s vivid evocation of the highs and lows of family time make you belly-laugh and bring a lump to your throat.
From the plains of the Serengeti to the cowboy towns of Cuba to the rainforests of Borneo, Shape of a Boy captures the essence of being a parent in the thick of it and learning on the hoof. Inspirational for anyone who has dreaded travelling with a baby, toddler or teen, it is life-affirming read for every wannabe-traveller.
My thoughts: as someone who went on their first long haul flight at 8 months old, I think my parents had similar ideas to Kate’s, at least to begin with, I really enjoyed this lovely, joyful book about wonderful holidays all over the world, with her husband and three boys at all stages of their lives.
Even when all her sons want to do is play in the pool and eat pizza, Kate plans excursions to some incredible places, exposing the boys to things some people will never experience. What a truly wonderful childhood.
Their adventures are often very funny, moving and heartwarming. Kate’s sons are kind, engaged boys and each reacts to new things differently, leading to some interesting conversations. And being boys, a lot of rude comments mostly about poo and animals extraordinary genitals!
Kate started taking the boys with them as a way to fit her travel writing assignments around her family, but in the end, all five family members are embracing the opportunity to see the world and explore. Having been starved of travel in the last few years, this was like a lovely burst of sunshine as I vicariously explored sights from Thailand to Cuba with the Wickers family through the years. Delightful.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.