A drawing by Leanne Bowlan in author Marlene Bryenton’s next storybook, Jaya’s Magic Wheelchair. (submitted image)

‘Magic Wheelchair’ book tells story of thrilled author’s B.C. granddaughters

Marlene Bryenton’s storybook explores how kids in wheelchairs can be excluded

Charlottetown-based author Marlene Bryenton said she’s thrilled to write storybooks about her grandkids, who include a pair of young Cloverdale-area girls who are the subject of her latest creation, Jaya’s Magic Wheelchair.

The 24-page book explores how kids in wheelchairs are excluded because they are different, Bryenton says.

“Able-bodied children sometimes take their mobility for granted,” she explained. “I believe children can learn from another child’s life. I am hoping that Jaya’s Magic Wheelchair will create a whole new perspective for children who perhaps do not understand what it means for a child not to be able to walk and participate in all activities.”

Featured in Bryenton’s new book is 11-year-old Jaya Garner, a student at Hazelgrove Elementary, her younger sister Brynn, 3, and a talking wheelchair named Sparkle.

A genetic disorder prevents Jaya from being able to speak, but she can walk with assistance, Bryenton notes.

The author had her own wheelchair experience this summer after a hip replacement.

“I discovered that people looked at me differently,” Bryenton recalled. “Some people would wave hello and smile while others turn away. I do believe that people are uncomfortable with someone in a wheelchair. I know I certainly have more empathy now after my own wheelchair adventure. Life became much more difficult when I had to navigate in my wheelchair, as not everywhere is accessible.”

Jaya Garner (right) and her younger sister, Brynn, in a photo from a couple of years ago. Jaya is now 11 and Brynn is three. (submitted photo)

When released this month, Jaya’s Magic Wheelchair will feature special illustrations of Jaya celebrating her 10th birthday with her two longtime school friends.

“Jaya’s mommy and daddy asked the children to bring a little money instead of a gift for Jaya. The money was donated, so that other little girls and boys could have a wheelchair. This story was published in your newspaper,” Bryenton said.

READ MORE: Surrey Centre for Child Development ‘grad’ gives back

Bryenton said she has visited Jaya and her family many times, but not this year, due to her hip issues and also the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have observed all the fun things Jaya is able to do, in spite of being in a wheelchair,” the author says. “This includes Jaya riding her favourite therapeutic horse, Lady Bug, playing the drum, going to the library, playing baseball and riding through the fountain in her wheelchair getting soaking wet. Jaya loves being outside and she loves water. Leanne (Bowlan, illustrator) brought to life all the things Jaya loves to do in her beautiful bright illustrations. Judy Parsons is our editor and Mark Bowlan is the formatter. The storybook is being printed at KKP in Charlottetown.”

Bryenton aimed to launch Jaya’s Magic Wheelchair on her 70th birthday Monday (Sept. 21), with copies available for sale on her website.

“Jaya doesn’t really understand the whole concept, but what she will understand is when she receives the custom board book,” Bryenton said. “She’ll be able to flip the pages of a board book, made of cardboard. It’s more durable and it will last, one just for her.”

The B.C. Physiotherapy Association is sponsoring 100 copies of Jaya’s Magic Wheelchair to Hazelgrove School, and Bryenton is still looking for a business or charity in the Surrey area to sponsor more storybooks for the school Jaya attends.

“It’s been a thrill of a lifetime to do this, really,” the author added.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Books

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

Kamloops-North Thompson candidates travelled to Blue River to take part in an in-person forum. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)
Tiny House Warriors, high-speed internet service top concerns at all-candidate forum

Questions about the pipeline protest, economic development, education and health care were asked during the two-hour event

COVID-19. (Courtesy of CDC).
Interior Health reports 12 additional COVID-19 cases

The total number of cases in the region is now at 644

The new owner of the Canfor sawmill site donated an acre of land to the TNRD to use for a future water treatment facility for the community of Vavenby. From left: Carol Schaffer, director of Area “A” for the TNRD, Jake Devlin, director of environmental services for the TNRD, Brian Fehr, B.C. entrepreneur, Brian Baarda, CEO Peak Renewables, and Dave Tantrun, site coordinator for Vavenby. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)
Old Canfor land to become new site for water treatment

The community of Vavenby’s future water treatment system has a home, thanks… Continue reading

Email letters to editor@clearwatertimes.com and we will publish online and in print.
Left-wing ramblings

To the Editor, I want to congratulate the Rambling Man on his… Continue reading

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Charges laid against Prince George man, 39, in drug trafficking probe

Tyler Aaron Gelowitz is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read