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A Story of Becoming, by Ayne Cates Sullivan, brilliantly illustrated by Belle Crow DuCray, is an inspirational journey that begins with a seed buried below the earth’s surface. As things warm, the seed bursts forth. It grows to discover beauty around it, experiences the desire to be like others, feels the need for continued sustenance, and thinks of ways it might be useful. The now small plant also suffers when deer choose her branches to chew, and when winter sets in. She wants to hide away, as do many of us when hardship visits, but she eventually finds the encouragement of other plants around her. With the return of spring, she experiences a new desire for living and a new purpose. Even then, difficulties come, this time leaving behind scars. But the plant, now a full-grown apple tree, finds her purpose, offering her gifts to others. In time, she comes to be known as the "miracle tree" for those who seek healing.
This inspirational journey mirrors life. Times of joy and times of pain often come back-to-back. Neither lasts forever, but both, remarkably, serve a purpose in one’s life journey. With A Story of Becoming, Ayne Cates Sullivan offers readers a realistic view of life’s ups and downs, always hinting at a hope for the future—a hope that is portrayed engagingly and lovingly in Belle Crow DuCray’s exquisite illustrations. A copy of the Literary Classics 2015 Gold Medal Winner for inspirational/picture books, A Story of Becoming, would be welcomed by anyone who seeks encouragement and searches for her purpose.