A Weymouth youngster has been added to the next edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.

Bella-Jay Dark, who is now seven-years-old, has been added to the book after officially becoming the world’s youngest published author.

The book itself, titled The Lost Cat, features a feline who goes on adventures but soon learns an important lesson.

Bella-Jay got into writing aged five when she asked her dad Myles if she could write a book.

Mr Dark said: “I went ahead and stapled some plain paper together not thinking anything of it and within a short period of time she came in and showed myself and her mother, Chelsie, and we were blown away!

“A few weeks later, we attended a local book event in Weymouth and Bella brought her book without hesitation and went up to a publisher at Ginger Fyre press,” he added.

Mr Dark said the publishers were shocked that Bella-Jay wrote a book by herself, and that following the meeting, the youngster drew all the illustrations herself apart from a picture at the back which her sister Lacie-May drew.

Ginger Fyre Press, a publisher on Portland, produced the book in February, which is one of the many hurdles Bella-May faced in gaining the record.

Bella-Jay then needed to sell 1,000 copies to meet the minimum requirements for her place in the World Records, which she did in a short space of time.  

The whole family was flown out to Dubai in May for the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, which saw the young author speak to other children about her book.

Dorset Echo: Bella-Jay is looking to keep her name among the records as she is searching for the title of youngest female author to release a series of books and is already working on her third book, with Mr Dark saying that her second book, Snowy's Birthday Party, has already sold ‘hundreds of copies.’

Mr Dark said: “Her mum and I are just so overjoyed with her achievements and I don't think we can say enough how proud we are of our little boo.”

The proud parent went on to say that his daughter’s record has taken up a whole page in this year's edition of the popular records book.  

The previous record was held by a woman called Dorothy Straight, who wrote her first book at four but was not published until she was six.