May 23rd, 2024

School librarian turned children’s author focuses on life choices

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on January 6, 2022.

Submitted photo Former Lethbridge resident and award-winning author Beverley Rayner and artist illustrator James Hensman teamed up to create "Barclay and Berk Builders: A parable."


A former Lethbridge resident and award winning author, Beverly Rayner, has published her second book titled Barclay & Berk Builders: A Parable.
She explains how working at a school library in Lethbridge influenced her to become the author she is now.
“I write partly because I landed a job at Dr. Gerald Probe School at least 16 years ago and spent 11 years in that library,” said Rayner.
She recalls that when she worked at the school library, the whole staff was really passionate about literacy, they were always looking for ways to incorporate extra programs and literacy for students in Lethbridge, so they started the One Book One School reading program.
“At that time I had never written at all, and I was reading to children classrooms everyday, especially picture books because they are short and they get to the point,” said Rayner.
She said it was then, when she started wondering how hard it would be to get a book published and she quickly realized that unless you have a background in writing, it would be hard to get very far.
“So I began to build a CV in writing by writing for magazines… I picked topics that were of interest to me,” said Rayner.
Rayner said she has not always published her favourite stories, but she is happy with what she has managed to achieve so far.
After living in Lethbridge for 30 years, she now lives in British Columbia and teamed up with artist and illustrator James Hensman who is a professional painter and artist, to create her latest book.
Barclay & Berk Builders: A Parable is an illustrated children’s book written for a young audience, ages five to eight years old. It is a modern day adaptation of Jesus’ parable found in Matthew Chapter 7 which talks about two builders, a wise builder and a foolish one.
“The book is about two builders building a house, one without a good foundation. So the book is about choices, the choices that we make in life that impact our lives,” said Rayner.
Rayner said that she usually writes for a Christian market, but she wrote her latest book with the idea of reaching a wider audience, as the actual story is a modern day version of the parable with just a Bible text at the back, but is not included in the story.
Rayner’s first picture book, which is a story based on the life of Edith Cavell titled The Face of Courage, was released by Voice of the Martyrs and won three awards from the Word Guild in 2019.
Rayner said she has another story waiting to be published this year, a novel titled The Courage of Katie Moodie.
Rayner’s books are available through her website

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