A COLCHESTER author is writing a series of stories about a famous badger who has stolen the hearts of many.

More than 200,000 people follow a Facebook page dedicated to the antics of Mr Lumpy, a badger and his band of friends.

And one follower taken by these posts was Colchester's very own Genevieve Yusuf.

Genevieve, 42, of Stanway in Colchester is a children's author born and raised in the historic town.

She runs JaJaJa Books and has written and published 9 books for kids

And she wrote her first book 10 years ago after living on and off in Spain quite a few times.

Genevieve said: "I'd been living and teaching in Spain and when I came back to England I realised how many people weren't learning languages so I wanted to teach them in a fun way.

"So I wrote 'Lucy and Lucia Play Hide and Seek' in 2011 as my first book and that's English with Spanish stitched into the content so children learn from the story without realising it.

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Gazette: Mr Lumpy himself pictured by Christine Beddard.

"And then I won quite a few awards and just gone on from there really, I did four bilingual books and then after having my little girl I did 'Ranvir Cannot Hear'.

"I can work round school hours and things like that so it's a good job in that sense."

Genevieve was the winner of Jacqueline Gold's WOW business competition in 2011, and the SBS twitter competition with Theo Paphitis in April 2017.

On how she came about writing the tales of Mr Lumpy's adventures, she said: "It was my neighbour actually who loves badgers and she knows that I'm really into wildlife and animals - I save anything - and asked me if I'd seen this lady's page who saves these badgers who she feeds at night coming into her garden.

"And I started watching it, I find videos like that quite addictive and I just felt really inspired by the badger and the fact that he had a name, Mr Lumpy, and then his wife comes along as well and you see the younger generations more and more."

Christine Beddard runs the Mr Lumpy Facebook page and website with her husband Mike, first creating the page 16 years ago.

Gazette: Christine with a copy of Snowdrop Arrives.

They both do a lot to help all sorts of wildlife and regularly donate money to an array of wildlife and protection organisations with the common aim to keep our wildlife treasures safe.

Genevieve added: "So I wrote a story and I sent it to Christine and asked if she ever considered creating a book about Mr Lumpy and she said she had.

"And then lockdown happened and we both started conversing again and she put an excerpt from the story on her page and her followers really loved it - some said it made them cry - it got a really good reaction.

"We both thought 'let's go for it' and she found an illustrator and we've been working on it really for the last year."

Christine's garden decking area is brought to life as the Enchanted Hollow in their first released story in the series, Snowdrop Arrives.

The book is available to pre-order now on the Mr Lumpy and Friends website at £11.99 and buyers will start to receive their fresh books in the post in the first week of August.

These series of tales penned by Genevieve and illustrated by Kay Dawson are reminiscent of olden-day fables.

And there's four more stories in the pipeline.

Genevieve said: "They're like sort of fairytale, Beatrix Potter-esque stories to read to your little one at night but she also has quite a following I think of older generations as well who want to buy it as a keepsake or gift it to grandchildren, and things like that."

To buy the book, or for more information about the series, visit the Mr Lumpy and Friends Facebook page or website.