A TALENTED student from Wirral has designed the front cover of an award-winning author’s new book.

James Casey, from The Mosslands school in Wallasey, took part in a school competition to create a front cover for local author Carl Leckey MBE.

Mr Leckey’s latest children’s book – The Badger Sett – is set to be published this summer, featuring 13-year-old James’ colourful design on the front page.

The 74-year-old from New Brighton – who has written eight books which have been published and sold across the world – has been taking part in a campaign by The Mosslands School to get more students into the library and reading books.

He said: “I was amazed by the talent at this school and very pleased with the winning designs – they all do my book proud.

"The Mosslands School is a very good school with really creative ideas to get the students into reading, writing and art. I was delighted to be a part of the initiative to get more children into the library as it is so important that they read a wide a range of books – both for their school studies and also to get them using their imaginations.

“I write as a hobby really and all my royalties go to charity, so it was also good to see Race for Life benefitting from the competition.

"Hopefully the book will be published by the time the students come back to school so they can see their work in their own library.”

Acting headteacher Veronica Lee said: “This has been a fantastic initiative. Since we invited Carl in to speak to pupils and launch the competition earlier in the year, the number of books loaned from the school library has increased substantially.

“As part of the competition students were asked to read a selection of scenes and interpret the characters in their own artistic style.

"There were lots of great entries to choose from and James was a deserved winner – James will now have the honour of seeing his work in print and his name on the cover as illustrator.

“We also gave a cash prize of £50 and a donation to James’s nominated charity, which was Race for Life. The entries were so good that eight runners up were also selected and their entries will now be used throughout the book.”

Competition winner James said that he would like to pursue a career in art: “I feel proud to have won and am looking forward to seeing the book with my design on the front cover.

Art is definitely one of my favourite subjects and I would like to try and do more things like this in the future, possible even one day as a job.”