Bella Broomstick by Lou Kuenzler and Kyan Cheng

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Bella Broomstick by Lou Kuenzler and Kyan Cheng

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Buy Bella Broomstick by Lou Kuenzler and Kyan Cheng at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Hilary Hawkes
Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes
Summary: A fun and entertaining story which is full of humour, challenges, twists and spells as young Bella (not your usual kind of witch) finds a home, friends, herself and adventure.
Buy? Yes Borrow? No
Pages: 240 Date: January 2016
Publisher: Scholastic
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1407157955

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Bella Broomstick has dark brown eyes, chocolate curls, absolutely no warts on her nose, an ability to talk to animals, a caring nature and a talent for sketching. So not your average witch at all. Aunt Hemlock decides Bella will never get the hang of spells and banishes her to the world of Persons where everyone is supposed to be stupid. But Bella discovers otherwise and soon finds herself loved and much wanted – and a style of magic all of her own.

From page one with Bella's assertion that she is a hopeless witch I was immediately intrigued and on-side with young Bella. Not only does she not seem to fit in with all things weird and witchy with all her spells going wrong, but she has to contend with living with the ghastly Aunt Hemlock (who smells of rotten eggs, garlic and cheesy feet – unless it's bath day when she smells of swamp mud) . Something has to change and it isn't long before there is a glimmer of hope. She is deposited in the world of Persons - that's where the rest of us live, on the other side of The Curtain of Invisibility which separates us from the witchy Magic Realm. A spell of Aunt Hemlock's makes Rose and Martin Able, of quaintly named Honeysuckle Cottage, see Bella as the perfect and longed for child they have always wanted.

At last happiness and fun for Bella. There are some funny moments as she gets to grips with living in the real world – like food that actually tastes good, toilets that flush, cool clothes, new friends (starting with a kitten called Rascal) and … presents! Bella has never been given a nice present before and loves the fluffy, feathery pink flamingo pen that Rose buys her. This is no ordinary pink flamingo pen and it isn't long before Bella is discovering her own unique magical powers and is off on worthy missions of rescue and adventure. But Bella believes her new life is at risk unless she keeps her Aunt Hemlock's rules about living in the Persons' world - so what will happen when she makes a big mistake?

I loved this thoroughly fun and entertaining story which is full of humour, challenges, twists and magic to keep young readers turning the pages. There is a good mixture of characters – from smelly old Aunt Hemlock to the Able's nasty and annoying neighbours (but Bella soon gets them sorted). And then the nice people are likable and believable as well as good. What a lovely and loyal friend Bella would make with her sense of fun, kindness, bravery and desire to right wrongs and help people. She is a real and ordinary little girl in addition to having her good witch abilities. I felt for her in her sad and worried moments and all children get those, of course. This along with the touch of girl-power (the wholesome and best kind) that weaves its way through the story makes, her an excellent role model in many ways too. Bella proves that being yourself and being the best you can be towards others is what matters, and that this is what will bring the real magic of happiness, love and friendships.

The story is peppered with adorable black and white illustrations that bring out the character and humour in the story very well. I liked the way they also illustrate Bella's thoughts and imaginings in places too – this reminded me of Tracey Beaker style thoughts in pictures. The attractive cover will appeal to lovers of all things pink and shiny. Short chapters and sentences make this a very manageable book for established readers of chapter books and the satisfying ending hints enticingly at further adventures and sequels to come – a wonderful new series to look forward to then.

Thank you to the publisher for supplying a copy for review.

Readers who like this author might want to check out Princess DisGrace: First Term at Tall Towers by Lou Kuenzler

Buy Bella Broomstick by Lou Kuenzler and Kyan Cheng at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bella Broomstick by Lou Kuenzler and Kyan Cheng at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Bella Broomstick by Lou Kuenzler and Kyan Cheng at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bella Broomstick by Lou Kuenzler and Kyan Cheng at Amazon.com.

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