Milking the fame - Celebrity dairy cow becomes a children's storybook star
- Credit: Arla
Norfolk's most famous dairy cow - and her proud owner - have become the cartoon stars of a new storybook aiming to educate children about where their food comes from.
Jelly the Jersey and farmer Jonny Burridge from Fundenhall, near Wymondham, are the central characters in the book "Jonny and Jelly Go Round and Round", which explores life on the farmyard through the eyes of the inquisitive cow.
The story, written by Steve Bradley and illustrated by Mylène Dosal, was produced by dairy co-operative Arla after its research found one in five British school children don’t understand where basic foods such as milk come from and are also unsure about food nutrition, leaving them poorly equipped to make healthy choices later in life.
Arla is offering the book as a free digital download for parents and will make a donation to the charity Magic Breakfast so it can provide 15,000 healthy breakfasts to help feed vulnerable children.
Mr Burridge has two sons, Ayrton and Jenson, aged six and two, and said he was determined to educate other children about farming and nutrition with the help of Jelly - who he estimates has already been seen by more than 50,000 people on her countless public appearances at Norfolk schools, county shows and Open Farm Sunday events.
“It’s easy to take what we do for granted but knowing that one in 10 children have never been on a farm was a bit of an eye-opener for me," he said.
"I’m really pleased that Jelly and I are the characters who will introduce children to life on a dairy farm and all that goes on here while we make the milk for their cereal.
"Not many cows get to star in a storybook, so I feel quite emotional for that little cow. She has been on so many journeys but I cannot take her everywhere, so this is the next best thing.
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"There is a huge void of knowledge out there and if we don't educate children other people will fill that void with myths."
TV presenter Helen Skelton, who grew up on a dairy farm, is supporting the launch of the book.
She said: "If we don’t know where our food comes from and what’s in it, how can we be expected to understand what’s good for us and what’s not?
"My kids have really enjoyed reading about Jonny and Jelly and finding out more about the food we enjoy.”