Meet the Author April 14, 2021 – Posted in: Book News

Chatting with Steven Lenton

Steven popped into Bags of Books to jazz up our window to celebrate the release of his new book Genie and Teeny Make a Wish. The first in a new series (of hopefully 8 books) perfect for 5+

While we were reading his book (it’s very funny and had us chuckling away) and Steven was painting the window we decided to distract him and ask some questions.

Here’s what we found out.

Tell us a little about your new book Genie and Teeny Make a Wish, why should we read it?

It’s about a genie who’s hopeless at making wishes, so he gets banned from the genie world. Landing on Earth, he comes across a lost puppy called Teeny and together they go on a really funny adventure. This book is the first of their many adventures together.

Why should children read it? Well … read it because it’s got everything in. Magic, mystery, silliness, but it’s also got a lot of heart. It’s quite different and quirky. I didn’t think any publisher would want it but they did, so someone obviously wants to read it!

Where did your inspiration for Genie and Teeny come from?

All sorts of places – I like to look at the world around me, a lot of the jokes come from things I’ve seen on TV and in films, but also from my friends. Visually I was inspired by 1940’s and 50’s cereal boxes. So the book has got quite a Bewitched feel to the design. This inspiration is just constantly building every minute of the day.

What made you finally write your own book?

I was having a meeting about illustrating a David Baddiel book with the head of Harpercollins, and she said that I am actually quite funny* and should try writing my own book … So I did.

*we can vouch that Steven is indeed quite funny

What’s easier – writing or illustrating?

Because I’m an illustrator, illustrating. However, now I’ve found my voice in writing, it is actually quite quick and I really enjoy it.

Is Teeny based on your dog Bob?

No, I wrote Genie and Teeny before I got him. It’s taken two years to get the book on the shelves in bookshops, but Bob will feature in future books, which I am writing now.

Wow, Lavinia Lavendar loves purple! Is purple your favourite colour?

No, orginally I had planned for the book to have purple illustrations, which is why she’s such a fan of purple.

If you could make three wishes, what would you wish for?

  1. To be able to be invisible – so if you have a day when you aren’t feeling very confident, you can continue the day without beeing seen.

2. To fly – I would go to Australia and New Zealand; my brothers were born there but I’ve never been and really don’t fancy the long flight.

3. For Genie and Teeny to be made into a film.

Which children’s books coming out this year would you recommend?


I’m really looking forward to Rainbow Grey by Laura Ellen Anderson because I really like the Amelia Fang books.

Noah’s Gold by Frank Cottrell-Boyce is brilliant- it has children stuck on island, lots of mystery, and a treasure map

Dog Diaries by Steven Butler is really funny and a great read for younger readers.

You can follow Steven on Twitter @StevenLenton and Instagram @steven_Lenton he also has his own YouTube channel – Draw-Along-A-Lenton

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