An author and children’s entertainer from St Annes has had her first book published – just in time for Christmas.
Ben The Outside Dog is the debut work of Jenna Rothwell, 30, who grew up in St Annes, and is released in the UK this week after a successful launch in Australia in April.
The actress-turned-author attended Mayfield Primary School and was deputy head girl at King Edward and Queen Mary’s School in Lytham before she moved to London five years ago.
However, after moving to the capital, she soon met her partner and moved to Australia to be with him, which is where she found her inspiration in Ben, an Australian Kelpie.
“I met my partner in London and got whisked away to his home in the Yarra Valley, the wine region of Australia,” she said.
“His parents had these two beautiful dogs so I ended up spending a lot of time with these dogs.
“Outside dogs are always busy and get frustrated inside. I found Ben fascinating, he wouldn’t want to be inside he’d get anxious and want to deal with something outside.”
The story, aimed at under fives, is split in two and looks at the adventures of the dog during the day and the night.
“It’s two books in one, the first story is about the adventures working as farm dog by day and the Cownley Farm guard dog at night, protecting the family and all the farm animals from indigenous and wild animals.”
Writing children’s stories came to Jenna naturally after working as an actress and a clown, which she does back in London now.
“One of the main reasons why I write is that I’m a children’s entertainer and run an entertainment business called Minnie The Clown,” she said.
“I like nonsensical fun and I’m a really big believer in encouraging children’s imaginations.”
Jenna’s experiences communicating with children and her skill with the pen has led to the National Day Nurseries Association recommending Ben The Outside Dog as one of their Top 10 Books.
Laura Robshaw of the NDNA said: “Ben the Outside Dog has excellent themes of personal, social and emotional development through Ben’s interactions with the animals on the farm. This is a key component of a child’s upbringing in the nought to five age group”