Lou Kuenzler

All posts tagged Lou Kuenzler

Bella Broomstick (Bella Broomstick #1) – Lou Kuenzler

Published January 10, 2016 by bibliobeth

Bella Broomstick

What’s it all about?:

This delightful new series, full of doodle illustrations and themes of friendship and fitting in, will have young readers bewitched from the very first page! Bella Broomstick is a hopeless witch. So hopeless that nasty Aunt Hemlock is sending her to live in Person World – with the warning that she must never do magic again! But when Bella finds a kitten in trouble, a spell is the only way to rescue it. What is Bella to do? For where there is magic, trouble is never far away!

What did I think?:

When I was asked to take part in a blog tour for Bella Broomstick, I read the synopsis and couldn’t resist! This is a deliciously heart-warming story that I’m certain will be a big hit with any child who reads it. The main character is Bella Broomstick – which isn’t actually a strange name in the world of witches, as Bella tells us herself, it could have been a lot worse, she could have been Bella Batburn, Bella McEggsmell or even Bella Vonvomit, so she got off pretty lightly. Poor Bella is not a very good witch unfortunately. Her spells keep going horribly wrong and she’s just had her last chance to pass the entrance exam for the Creepy Castle school and failed dismally.

Bella’s parents were notoriously bad at magic too and they met a sticky end when turning themselves into tiny white mice as a bid to make her laugh led to them being snapped up by either a hungry witch’s cat or a greedy lizard… only two little pink tails were found. Eek! Bella is now looked after by her Aunt Hemlock – a “proper” witch with warts and evil cackle included! As punishment for failing her entrance exam, Aunt Hemlock takes Bella to Person World which sounds absolutely terrifying to Bella and, to top it all off, she is forbidden from using magic ever again.

Bella ends up in the care of Mr and Mrs Able, who are surprisingly normal and friendly to her, not being able to have children of their own. Bella even starts to believe she might enjoy this Person World, especially if it comes with scrumptious food, cool clothes and her very own flamingo pen, something she has coveted for a long time having only seen it in a catalogue before now. However, this new world is not without its dangers and when Bella finds a kitten who needs her help, she thinks trying just the one spell wouldn’t hurt. Would it?

This was a really sweet read and a great introduction for me to Lou Kuenzler’s work. I loved the little doodles in the book that Bella makes as she talks the reader through the story and as a character, she is instantly loveable for children. It’s a beautiful story with a lovely message of the importance of love, friendship and family and not only can I imagine myself reading it over and over again as a youngster but it’s a story that I would immediately want to read to a child of my own. I wish the author all the best of luck in the future and I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for what she does next while perusing her back catalogue.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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For an interview with the author, Lou Kuenzler, please see my post HERE.

Blog Tour – Interview with Lou Kuenzler, author of the new children’s series Bella Broomstick (Bella Broomstick #1)

Published January 10, 2016 by bibliobeth

Lou Kuenzler

LOU KUENZLER – A BIOGRAPHY

Lou Kuenzler likes to write stories which make children laugh.

Her popular SHRINKING VIOLET books are funny, action-packed adventures about a little girl who suddenly shrinks …. Think Mrs Pepperpot with a 21st century twist!

And then Lou’s next series PRINCESS DISGRACE introduces the clumsiest princess ever in a comic romp through life at a posh princess academy – unicorns, dragons and japes galore!

For slightly younger readers, Lou’s AESOP’S AWESOME RHYMES add a comic, rhyming twist to the classic moral tales.

While JACK SPLAT: SUPERFLY PEST and JACK SPLAT: DOG’S DINNER tell the fly-on-the-wall adventures of … well, of a fly!

Find her at:

Website: http://www.loukuenzler.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/loukuenzler
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3164179.Lou_Kuenzler

Lou is represented by Scholastic Books UK and her PR for this blog tour is the lovely Faye Rogers who also came up with some brilliant interview questions for this post!

Click on the book cover to get to the link to GoodReads:

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For the link to Lou’s other series click the cover:

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INTERVIEW WITH LOU KUENZLER

I’d like to welcome Lou to bibliobeth today and thank her for her time in giving this interview.

1.) Bella Broomstick is about a girl who often gets into trouble, did you get into trouble when you were a child?

I did get into quite a lot of trouble when I was little, mostly because I grew up on a farm and was always up to mischief with my favourite animals. I had a pet ferret called Matilda who liked to run up people’s trouser legs. I used to take my tame sheep Brillo into Dad’s vegetable garden and hand feed her all the best peas and beans. Worst of all, there was a television series when I was little called Horse In The House. You guessed it … I decided my pony Flora ought to come inside and see the programme for herself. Unfortunately, we were only half way across the kitchen when my mum came in. A smartly dressed bank manager in a suit and tie was with her. “Get that pony out of here,” Mum hissed. And I would have done … if only there was room to turn Flora around. I can still see the look of horror on the bank manager’s face as Flora lifted her tail and left a steaming hot surprise by the fridge. Perhaps that is why, when I wrote Bella Broomstick, I gave her the magic power to talk to animals. It would have been so much easier if I could have just asked Flora nicely to leave.

My mum does see the funny side now, but it has taken about thirty years!

2.) If you could re-write any children’s classic, which would you re-write?

Oh, it’s funny you should ask that. I have always wanted to revisit The Secret Garden. But I am just reading a brilliant version by Holly Webb (Return to The Secret Garden) Grrr! Looks like Holly got there first.

3.) What was your favourite book as a child?

My favourite book was definitely The Borrowers. I think this must have been the inspiration for my Shrinking Violet series. I have always loved the idea of being tiny and being able to sneak around unseen. I remember when I read The Borrowers Afield (which is set in the countryside), I spent hours and hours lifting up stones on the farm track, hoping I would find a tiny Borrower of my own. I also loved Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones which is all about witchcraft and wizardry … and, of course, The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy. I know these must have been an influence when I decided to write Bella Broomstick, all about my own young witch.

4.) Do you have a concrete plan for your books or do they just come together as you write them?

That’s a good question … I always have a bit of an idea but not the whole thing. I teach Writing Children’s Fiction to adult students at City Lit in London. The way I always explain my planning to them is to compare it to a car journey you have never made before. Imagine you were at the college near Holborn and decided you wanted to go to Cornwall. It would probably be a good idea to have a quick look at a map. If you just set off, you’ll end up going round and round in circles (and might have to make a detour via Aberdeen). If you at least know that you are heading South West, the journey will instantly have some structure and shape. Once that structure is in place – with a few key markers (Reading, Bristol, Exeter perhaps) pinpointed along the way – you can take any detour you like. Stone Henge? … Why not. Even Aberdeen if you know it is miles out of your way and yet still feel it is essential to see on this particular journey.

If you over plan, on the other hand, and just put Truro into a Sat Nav, the journey will be a lot less lively and fun. You are unlikely to use your imagination very much at all if you know that the proper thing to do is “turn right in 800 yards.”

So … I do always have a destination in mind and few points to boost my plot with petrol and/or a loo stop along the way. But if I glimpse an enticing twisted chimney pot through the tree tops, then why not go and have a peep. Perhaps they’ll be somewhere unexpected to find lunch … And I know which way I’m heading after all …

5.) If you could give your child self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Keep a diary – your adult writing self would LOVE to know how it really feels to be six or eight or ten … Unfortunately (other than a few embarrassing teenage scribbles), I didn’t ever keep a diary for long. I am dyslexic and found all writing difficult when I was young. Of course, that’s the real piece of advice I’d give my younger self: don’t worry that your brain seems to work in a different way to other people’s – you’ll come to celebrate that difference in the end.

A huge thank you to Lou once again for her time and to Faye Rogers who put this whole blog tour together. If you’ve enjoyed this, why not visit the other stops on the blog tour? Bella Broomstick was published on 7th January 2016 and is available from all good book retailers now!

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My review of Bella Broomstick will be published later today so come back later to check it out!