Eat Your People by Lou Kuenzler, illustrated by David Wojtowycz and published by Orchard Books is a hilarious twist on fussy eating that children and their grown ups will be sure to enjoy.
Monty the monster is having dinner with his family but there’s just one problem, he won’t clear his plate, he will not, absolutely no way eat his people. Yes, that’s right, his people. His parents try all the usual tricks that we humans use to try and tempt children to eat their dinners but Monty refuses. Only the promise of his favourite pudding can tempt him to put those yucky sour people in his mouth.
Childlike illustrations make for an appealing read and keep this slightly dark story lighthearted and fun. We love the addition of Monica, Monty’s goody goody big sister who is quick to make sure everyone knows that she’s already eaten all her people and how yummy they are. And our favourite laugh out loud moment comes when Monica’s drink comes out of her nose while she’s laughing!
Eat Your People has been nominated for the Laugh Out Loud awards 2017, otherwise known as the Lollies. We’re really excited to be part of the blog tour for the Lollies and have been lucky enough to interview the author, Lou Kuenzler. We decided to quiz her on all things funny books.
What makes you laugh out loud?
I like very silly word jokes and puns. Some of my favourite jokes are the ones that are so awful they make everybody groan. I recently heard one when visiting my local library (it made me giggle – and groan – very loudly even though I was supposed to be being quiet!). So here goes, you have been warned:
When do astronauts eat?
At launch time!
What was your favourite funny book when you were a child?
It was perhaps not so much a funny book as a funny character. I always loved the moments in Kenneth Grahame’s Wind In The Willows when Mr Toad appeared. He takes himself so seriously and that is always funny. We read the book together in class and I can still hear the wonderful Mr Toad voice my teacher always put on, puffing out her cheeks and crying, ‘I’m such a clever Toad’. Moments later, of course, he would end up in terrible – but hilarious – trouble.
Do you have any favourite fellow funny writers?
All Mine by Zehra Hicks is one of my favourite funny picture books. It is all about a naughty seagull who tires to steal Mouse’s lunch. The expressions on Seagull’s face make me grin every time I look at the story – who knew a beak could show so many different (and cunning) emotions. I think one of the great joys of picture books is the way the words and pictures can work together to draw out a joke – or perhaps two different jokes, one in the language and another in the drawing. The wonderful Not Now, Bernard by David McKee (a definite influence on Eat Your People) is a great example of this as Bernard’s distracted parents ignore the enormous purple monster swallowing their son.
Is there a particular fussy eater or an event that inspired Eat Your People?
I was actually doing an author visit at a school when the idea first popped into my head. I saw a little girl trying to hide her chicken nuggets under her fork so she could clear her plate away and move on to pudding. It was jelly … so who can blame her?
What food do you really not like eating?
I do not like breakfast cereal, especially the dry flakey sort. It always tastes like cardboard to me. You might as well eat the box!
Do you have a way of testing whether what you’ve written is funny?
If something does not make me chuckle (or the very least smile) when I am writing it then it probably ought to go.
What are your top tips for young writers who want to write funny stories?
If something does not make you chuckle (or the very least smile) when you are writing it then it probably ought to go.
Don’t be afraid to admit you are funny. People are always a little shy about this. Don’t be. Being funny is a wonderful gift. If you know you can make people laugh, share it!
Don’t let jokes get in the way of the story – if it takes too long to set up a funny line or situation, then your plot may be better off without it. Short and sweet is usually funnier than going on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and … I think you get the point!
Thank you Lou for your wonderful answers, it’s great to hear the impression your teacher had on you whilst reading aloud. Some excellent advice for young writers too.
Illustrator David Wojtowycz can be found on Twitter @elephantjoe.
Keep up with the rest of the Lollies blog tour by checking out these fellow bloggers.
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