The Curious Mummy Meets Author Kate Bodell

I love women doing it for themselves. So this week I am shining the spot light on the talented Kate Bodell, the author and illustrator of children’s book Bumbelinda. We find out abit more about Kate, her inspiration for her truly wonderful book as well as who she would invite to her ultimate dinner party.

There is so much to say about Kate so I’ll let you enjoy her fabulous interview.

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A Bit About Yourself

I am an experienced (read frazzled and slightly disillusioned!) primary school teacher. I have taught infants around the globe and am now a mum of two boys. I am a Scot living in London and arrived here via Hong Kong, Spain and Thailand. I still dabble in teaching Spanish; teach drawing workshops to counter the whole ‘I Can’t Draw’ thing involving making mistakes (gasp!) and encouraging creativity and of course writing and illustrating. ‘Bumbelinda’ is my first self published picture book.

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Tell us about Bumbelinda

Bumbelinda is the story of a fairy, albeit a rather reluctant one. In fact, she is a titchy, tetchy mess and being kind is the last thing on her mind when she is discovered by a little girl and all round fairy fan. This is a funny, funky fairy tale about friendship, following dreams and foul smells. Safe to say this picture book has as much fart as it does heart!

Idea to start

For some reason my husband was singing ‘Thumbelina, Thumbelina’ as the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale character and again don’t ask me why but he changed the wording to ‘Bumbelina’. That would be a great name for a messed up fairy character I said! Further down the line I was advised to change the name slightly to ‘Bumbelinda’ to avoid any legal shenanigans.

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Inspiration from

I was initially inspired by wee girls I have taught over the years who don’t fit into the mound that society expects of them. They are bold, opinionated and adventurous but are also partial to a pop of pink and sparkle. Yes they believe in magic but they love a bit of attitude as well. Boys seem to respond to the book positively as well, who doesn’t love a bit of rude humour?!

Five words to describe Bumbelinda

  1. irreverent
  2. silly
  3. funny
  4. colourful
  5. mischievous

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Highlight from book

When we finally get to meet Bumbelinda! We have a hint of what’s she’s like from the end papers (she failed fairy finishing school) and her grotty grotto. The page where the Bumbelinda is revealed in her full ‘glory’. The little girl is overjoyed to have found a real life fairy but tries to brush off the fact that she is not quite what she was expecting.

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My favourite pages

Towards the end when Bumbelinda finally agrees to help the little girl’s wishes come true. “When fairy o’clock comes around….” I love the disco transformation of Bumbelinda. For some reason I had George Michael’s “Let’s Go Outside” in my head when I devised this page! Also Bumbelinda’s little chant: ‘FAIRY HUFF, FAIRY NUFF, LET ME DO MY FAIRY STUFF’ I love me a bit of word play!

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Best reaction

Generally when I read out the part where I describe Bumbelinda’s tu-tu as poo-poo there’s a lot of gasping and hands over mouths and side eye and whispering “She said poo-poo.” Love it!

Book on bedside table

‘How to Stop Time’ by Matt Haig. He has such a way with words.

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Writing energy

Definitely sweet (for sweet read chocolate!) and definitely tea. Or hot chocolate if I am in a cafe. There’s a theme here!

Writing tools

Always, always start with pencil and paper. Something about the connection between brain and hand gets the ideas flowing to begin with. I have tried writing on a computer but that only comes when I have something of a first draft written by hand.

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Favourite art supply

Sharpies and Bristol paper. There’s a smoothness that I love. My husband is trying to convince me to go digital, I do think my style would work well on the iPad Pro. Such a Luddite though, reluctant to give up the old Sharpies but for ease I will have to!

Dinner party guest list

  • Michael Palin
  • John Lennon
  • Billy Connelly
  • Karamo Brown
  • Sharon Horgan
  • Serena Williams
  • Charles Schultz
  • Pablo Picasso

Thank you Kate, for your brilliant interview. To find out more about Kate, head over to her website by click HERE.

Kate is also giving The Curious Mummy readers a discount off all Bumbelinda purchases. Please email Kate on katebodell@me.com to get your copy today.

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