“A Story of Becoming”


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There is always a story behind the writing of a book. A Story of Becoming was written for my kids in 2003. I was going through a divorce and it was an attempt to help all of our family members understand that although things change, that we can be a stronger and more vibrant community than ever before. The kids read the handwritten story, illustrated it in their own way and then stuck it in a drawer.

It was eleven years before Belle duCray found the book. Belle is also an interior designer and was redoing some rooms in our house. I walked into my daughter’s bedroom and saw her sitting crying. I thought that perhaps something was terribly wrong, but it turned out she was so moved by the story that she insisted it had to be professionally illustrated. That marked the beginning of five years of collaborating on books, four award winning books to date with two more in production. It took Belle two years to draw the illustrations for A Story of Becoming, and then it was finally published in 2014. In 2015, the book won 15 literary awards. A Story of Becoming became an Amazon Best Selling book in 2016.

“Ayn and Belle capture the essence of the meaning of life in these beautiful pages.”

- Ellen Reid, Indie Book Expert

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Children’s Literary Classics Winner

Inspirational / Visionary – Picture Book – Gold.


By Literary Classics Book Reviews on February 23, 2015


A young seed germinates in the forest before unfurling and finding her way through the rich dark soil of the earth. As she becomes a young seedling she stretches toward the sunlight, wondering what she will someday become. Nourished by the dewdrops she grows in anticipation of the possibilities hidden within her.While still very small, some of her leaves and branches are eaten by animals. Despite the set-back, she grows and matures until one day she discovers her purpose . . . she is an apple tree. She delights in being an apple tree; but over time she continues to encounter hardships, some of which are seemingly insurmountable.A Story of Becoming, by Ayn Cates Sullivan, Ph.D. is a beautiful tale that will resonate with readers young and old. This is a story which speaks on many levels to the hearts of readers who will relate to the hopes, fears and dreams of the apple tree as she struggles to survive and fulfill her purpose. Exquisite illustrations provide the perfect backdrop for the words penned in this lovely book which is sure to become a favorite among readers of all ages.
            Read More Praise!

Review by Sherri Rosen of “A Story Of Becoming” by Ayn Cates Sullivan

I’ve read and reread this book many times. Each time I read I receive another gift. The book is for children and adults. The artist, Belle Crow Du Cray, brings each page alive with her illustrations.

The messages in the book are universal. Each of you will have your own personal experience when you read and reread this book. I wanted to share some of my personal experiences and messages that I received which are:

l. When facing hard times, never give up.
2. Be generous-whatever you give-comes back and multiplies
3. Sometimes the traditional way of doing something isn’t needed
4. Believe in miracles and magic
Buy this book. It’s magical and inspirational for you and the entire family.


Award News

Won Great Southeast Book Festival for Children
Honorable Mention Spiritual Los Angeles Book Festival
Won runner up in the Children’s Division of the Great Northwest Book Festival 2015.GreatNorthwestBookFestival
Top Honors – Gold – Juvenile Books
(Level 2 – Ages 9 to 12)mca_logo
‘A Story Of Becoming’ won an honorable mention – Children’s Book – with the San Francisco Book Fair!
‘A Story of Becoming’ is the Children’s Division Winner of the Paris Book Festival.
We are thrilled that A Story of Becoming has been chosen by Spirited Woman as a top pick for the spring of 2015. SPIRITED-WOMEN-135
‘A Story of Becoming’ received an Honorable Mention at the Green Book Festival in NY.
‘A Story of Becoming’ just won its 10th award, an Honorable Mention at the Hollywood Book Festival.hollwood-award
Inspirational / Visionary – Picture Book – Gold.literary-classics-sm
‘A Story of Becoming’ is the Winner of the London Book Festival in the Children’s Category.
‘A Story of Becoming’ is the Winner of the Beverly Hills Book Awards in the Spiritual Category.
‘A Story of Becoming’ Wins Runner Up at the New England Book Festival.NE-awards
‘A Story of Becoming has won the Gold with Nautilus Book Awards 2016 in the category of Middle Grades-Fiction.OfficalGoldSticker-Nautilus
‘A Story of Becoming’ Winner of Best Visionary Fiction.
‘A Story of Becoming’ Finalist with the International Book Awards – Children’s Body/Mind/Spirit.
2016 Reader’s Book Award Winner in Children’s Fable
International Book Award Finalist
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Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers’ Favorite2016-goldUnseen, unaware, a seed lies deep within the soil. A Story of Becoming by Ayn Cates Sullivan PhD is a seed’s journey of self-discovery. The seed reaches toward the light and breaks the surface into a beautiful majestic world of wonder. Observing the world creates times of self reflection and transformation. As the seedling grows and matures, she becomes more in tune with her surroundings, finding harmony in nature. However, as she continues to develop, she questions her purpose in the meadow. Why was she created? What is she becoming? When the storms of life alter the world as she knows it, she gains further understanding of her future and destiny. Renewed, refreshed and full of life, she gives of herself generously, multiplying her goodness for generations to come.Ayn Cates Sullivan’s A Story of Becoming reveals the miracle of life. This allegorical narrative may be diminutive in pages, but it is extensive in meaning. Elements of truth buried beneath the surface of the narrative resemble the nutrients held within the soil that nourishes nature’s fauna. I read it several times, discovering hidden gems of understanding each time. Sullivan’s writing style is sensory, simplistic, and eloquently imaginative. Belle Crow DuCray’s artwork illustrates the story beautifully, bringing depth and animation to Sullivan’s words. The fantasy fable’s theme echoes the unique purpose of life. Its mood is magical; nuances of awe, child-like innocence, and the wonderment of creation meld together masterfully. Sullivan creates balance in the narrative by portraying the challenges of life with the fortitude to overcome by becoming who you are destined to be. A Story of Becoming will inspire both young and mature with its timeless message.
‘A Story of Becoming’ is a beautiful book for children of all ages. I have no children myself, nor want any, and thus I do not often enjoy children’s literature. So it means even more that I recommend it. This delightful book can be read on multiple levels, from a child’s eager exploration to an adult seeker’s return to childlike wonder. Its beautiful illustrations mirror the words, and the art and story together call one more fully into the journey. At first glance, this is a playful book with a sweet, meaningful message, but, if one chooses to peer deeper, it is also an allegory that can draw one in to meditate on one’s spiritual path. To those who wish, this book shows a glimpse of the process of creativity and self-realization. It invites one to explore the rhythms of one’s own deepening and unfolding development and to express the unique gift of his or her being. ‘A Story of Becoming’ sparkles with innocence and depth and offers its readers, young or old, and also as a family, a magical, profound insight that only such elegant simplicity can provide. This book inspires me and is a treasure for all to appreciate.— David Hamilton Nichols

WOO-HOO! DID MY FRIEND Ayn Cates Sullivan SCORE WITH HER WONDERFUL BOOK, A STORY OF BECOMING. She’s a #1 Amazon Bestseller in six categories. Her wonderful book is a kids’ book, and also an adults’ book, really a fable or growth story. She’s won I don’t know how many international awards with it. All I can say was that it moved me to tears several times when I read it. Recommended for everyone, especially those into personal grown and individuation. Read Ayn’s credentials. Wow.

— Sandy Nathan

5stars Truly an exceptional literary insight into the life and love of a tree!
A Story of Becoming is a must read for all ages!”Ayn Cates Sullivan is truly a human connected with the earth and the spiritual forces that reside here. Her ability to communicate through her writing the feelings, thoughts and ideas of the apple tree is truly profound and the illustrations are breathtakingly beautiful. So often humans pass by the trees, plants and creatures of the earth without a forethought. This book, however, invites us all to stop, pause, wonder, and listen to each story, for all of the earth has a story to tell. Ayn does a wonderful and beautiful job of telling the story of apple tree and the people and animals who love her. I highly recommend this book to adults and children alike as it serves as a reminder of the magic and the wonder of the Universe is alive and everywhere!”- Meghan A Mulqueenon December 27, 2015

“A Story of Becoming” is a beautiful book that not only looks stunning but has a wonderful message about being the best kind of person you can be. The story is one for sharing and will leave you with a warm lovely feeling. It is not set at a particular age group but this does not diminish the enjoyment and as an adult, I can attest to the fact that we all love to escape to a magical world of childhood! This is not only a book with a lovely, well written (be it american in spelling) book but a work of art that will bring joy to you and people around you for many years to come.

- Hannah Westworth, England

5stars “A very sweet read!

“A Story of Becoming” surrounds your heart and mind with the magic and intelligence of nature. It has the power to awaken young and old to a greater connected consciousness. And for those who already can hear the whispers of the elements and feel the shudders of the trees, reading this story feels as good as stepping into a natural hot spring with your favorite friends. The illustrations are so beautiful and immediately transport you to another world. A story to cozy-up with, and be reminded of the bigger picture all around us.”

- Spryte Loriano-Ecuador

5stars It is like HOPE, blazing from it’s beautifully illustrated pages

This is one of the most powerful books I have ever held in my hands. It is like HOPE, blazing from it’s beautifully illustrated pages. For ANYONE who has gone through loss, life changes, seemingly insurmountable challenges, illness, or any kind of life challenge, this book is like a healing balm for the soul. Just holding it opens a whole new world of beauty where we realize that ALL THAT challenge and difficulty, is about to make us something incredible – someone healed, healthy, radiant and whole, and capable of blessing the world. An amazing book for you, and all those you love reaching for hope, for a map, for the “what comes after this” … Another incredible book from Ayn Cates Sullivan.

- By C. Remond on November 22, 2015

“A Story of Becoming” can either be a meaningful and transformational tale right in keeping with Harry Potter and such, or it may just be a beautiful, enriching story, good to read for adults and children. Either way, it leaves you wondering whether some of those aboriginal voices who claim that plants such as trees are not only sentient, they say they are even MORE conscious than animals. While that is something hard to believe, even though one of our own famous poets wrote “I wonder about the trees” and whether or not they would have as much to say if they could pull up roots and walk away from their self-imposed lack of forward movement.Be that as it may, and whether apple trees can cause transforming fruit to grow or not (some people of shamanic wisdom say so indeed and point to peculiar practices to do so), any kind treatment of any plant is to be commended. I myself, via watching my mother minister to the smallest blossoms with utter care and always preserving them as best she could, have inherited the peculiar gratefulness of plants. I once had a cabbage tree from a dead-seeming stump of cabbage I found in the fridge drawer with little roots that had sprouted and so, in the tradition of my mother, I planted it outdoors, only to inherit several “heads of cabbage” on its multiple branches. And I have an apple tree I rescued from a nursery with all its “arms” broken off. “She” (her name is Anna, which was the grandmother of Jesus) gives us fruits twice a year, is so full of blossoms that I worry about her, and sends out more love vibrations than the pope on Sunday, as they say.

Do apple trees do what the author says they do? Go read and decide for yourself.

– Regina Jensen, “Space of Love” Magazine

“A Story of Becoming” is an enlightening tale of self-discovery and realization brilliantly depicted through the life and lens of an apple seed as it journeys through the wondrous yet sometimes painful experience of existence. Woven in with the life lessons of strength, courage, hope, love, fear and loss is the essential message of transformation from the ordinary to the miraculous through trial and faith. It is a symbol for life itself in its most raw form. Coupled with soulful, hand drawn illustrations of great beauty and depth, it will captivate the heart and touch the soul of both children and adults alike. Making it a true treasure for every member of the family.

– Jessie Lamando

For Immediate Release:

New Children’s Book Teaches Holistic Lessons of Self-Discovery

“A Story of Becoming” is a fable about a seed that over time becomes an apple tree and after a storm becomes a living miracle. The tale is a metaphor for our own process of self-discovery and reminds us that no matter what we have faced in life our essence is still whole and complete. Written by award-winning author Ayn Cates Sullivan, Ph.D, A Story of Becoming is the third children’s book she has written in collaboration with illustrator Belle Crow DuCray. Her other two children’s books, Sparkle and the Gift and Sparkle and the Light have both won numerous awards including the gold medal at The Mom’s Choice Awards, and further accolades from The Los Angeles Book Festival and The London Book Festival.

Where Shel Silverstein’s classic The Giving Tree leaves critics and readers divided about the moral relationship of the boy and the tree, A Story of Becoming offers a more holistic approach. The story follows a seed which begins to sprout and becomes curious about who she is becoming. After overcoming a series of tribulations including being eaten by deer and struck by lightning, the sapling grows into a golden apple tree which bears its fruits of wisdom to a community of vibrant characters, whose enlightening relationships are carefully illustrated by Belle Crow Ducray. In the end, the golden apple tree becomes a symbol of love and hope for the community.

The book is already utilized by international recovery groups, including a rape crisis group that uses the book to teach women that they can recover and be living miracles, and a youth rehab in Vermont. A Story of Becoming truly is a fable for “children of all ages.”

“The message is that we are perfect and whole in our design,” says Sullivan. “Even though we might experience something that seems to break us, we can recover and even become a living miracle. What may at first seem like a great tragedy may in fact be an enormous blessing. We are the authors of our lives, so we are the ones who desire how we view situations.” Upon finishing this book we know that when we stay connected to our inner light miracles can and do happen.

The book launch for A Story of Becoming will be on January 24, 2015 at 4 pm at Granada Bookstore, 1224 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA. After the reading, the Infinite Light Publishing team will be answering questions that emerging authors and illustrators have about publishing and distributing their own books.

– Christopher Allen Caplan

Review by Sherri Rosen of “A Story Of Becoming” by Ayn Cates Sullivansherri-rosen

I’ve read and reread this book many times. Each time I read I receive another gift. The book is for children and adults. The artist, Belle Crow Du Cray, brings each page alive with her illustrations.

The messages in the book are universal. Each of you will have your own personal experience when you read and reread this book. I wanted to share some of my personal experiences and messages that I received which are:

l. When facing hard times, never give up.

2. Be generous-whatever you give-comes back and multiplies

3. Sometimes the traditional way of doing something isn’t needed

4. Believe in miracles and magic

Buy this book. It’s magical and inspirational for you and the entire family.

Website: www.infinitelightpublishing.com