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Gastronimus is a "bumbling chef from outer space" who arrives on planet Earth for a dream holiday to find the planet under attack from the criminal cook Mr Grrrumblebum. Author Charlie Duncan says that the book offers a "genuinely healthy and value-giving path to children". It aims to stealthily draw children into healthy eating, with recipes written by Gastronimus at the back of the book.


Isaac writes: "This was an interesting story of bravery and how beings from outer space and Earth came together fo form an unusual friendship that saved the Earth from the foul and stinky grrrrumblebums. The author uses a very funny and different method of writing. The characters are exciting and become "pan" galactic heroes. Overall it was funny, fantastic and in a good way different.


Isaac Johnson, aged 8, loves Beavers, Lego and the ourdoors.

Gastronimus and the legend of Mr Grrrumblebum


WALTHAMSTOW: Teacher writes children's book to tackle junk food




GETTING children to avoid junk food can be a difficult task.

But a teacher-turned-author from Walthamstow is tackling the challenge head on with a set of imaginative literary characters.

Charlie Duncan, 43, of Cleveland Park Avenue, has created a fantasy space adventure in his new book, Gastronimus and the Legend of Mr Grrumblebum.

The book combines storytelling with healthy recipes and has already won the support of foodies and children's organisations.

Mr Duncan, who teaches English to Japanese students at the Exell school in Golders Green, said: “I has started on a couple of children's books but I really wanted to create something that wouldn't just end when children put the book down – something they could take through their lives.

“The healthy eating issue was in the news at the time and I thought if I could turn it into a fun story, it might have more impact.

“I see it as the children's literature approach to healthy eating, as oppose to a chef or nutritionist saying what children should eat, which gives it a different angle.

Mr Duncan said he was inspired to write for children after spending two years teaching primary school children in Tokyo.

The book follows bumbling chef Gastronimus and his sidekick Scrumlix the 'dinersaur', as they travel to earth from outer space for a holiday to find the planet under attack from the junk-food villain Mr Grrumblebum.

The story, which is aimed at eight to 11 year-olds, demonstrates the difference between healthy eating and junk food, as the aliens save earth by giving people a taste for delicious healthy food.

At the end of the book, Gastronimus shows readers how to make some of the dishes from the story, including Moon Dust Pasta, Potato Planets and Scrumlix Spaghetti Refill.

The recipes are all graded with stars to show how much fat, salt and sugar they contain.

Organisations including Save The Children and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and food journalists have praised the book's approach to persuading children to eat healthily.

Sheila Dillon, of the BBC Food programme, said: “If good food is ever going to draw children away from the real seductions of coke, pizza, burger and chips, it needs some help. This book is it.”

A spokesperson for Save The Children said: “This delightful, hilarious, healthy and delicious book should charm its way into every child and parent's appetite.”