Author wins award for first children's book

An author born and bred in the Black Country has won an award for his first children's book.

Wolverhampton-born James Hopson was inspired to write the book to help support healthy eating
Wolverhampton-born James Hopson was inspired to write the book to help support healthy eating

James Hopson won a World's Best Award from Gourmand World Cook Books in the self-publishing category for his book "Captain Satsuma has landed".

Mr Hopson, who was born in Wombourne, was inspired to create a series of fun characters around healthy eating after a conversation with his granddaughter while they were sketching together.

He said: "My granddaughter loves having fun.

"She became intrigued by my sketch and asked who it was, to which I replied 'Captain Satsuma', proud of the fact I’d not only designed him, but had thought of a name too.

"Her reply was 'Never heard of him', which inspired me to write a story about him especially for her."

He said it was while writing the story that he decided to turn the idea into a fun adventure book for all young children.

The brightly illustrated book follows the adventures of lead character Captain Satsuma, as he and his team set out in search of ‘Evil Spud Mouldy.’

The mission takes them to Gnome Island where Evil Spud Mouldy has formed an alliance with the ruthless ‘Count Rubbish.’

The 61-year-old, who lives in Lizard Point in Cornwall, but still visits Wombourne on a regular basis, said an influence on the story had been his father Fred, who owned Oxley Fruit Stores in Fordhouses for more than 20 years.

He even named a character in the story after his father, with Freddie Elf being a shopkeeper who Captain Satsuma and the team come to the rescue of.

Mr Hopson said that being recognised with an award from the Oscars of Food Awards was an amazing achievement and spoke of the larger reach the story had.

He said: "Whilst the book was created for my granddaughter, I started getting some lovely feedback that it was also helping parents with a real problem they faced getting children to embrace their five a day.

"As well as being fun, I wanted to encourage children through the book, to think about what they were eating, and to hopefully guide them to make healthy choices.

"Winning the award for the UK is something I’m very proud of."

He also said there were plans for future stories about the adventures of Captain Satsuma.

To find out more and to buy a copy of "Captain Satsuma has landed", go to

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