Eala

Mother Swan / La Madre Cisne

Children - Mythology/Fairy Tale
32 Pages
Reviewed on 08/11/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Kristine Zimmerman for Readers' Favorite

Eala: The Mother Swan / La Madre Cisne is a magical bilingual story written by Ayn Cates Sullivan. Each page includes both the English and Spanish text. The folktale begins with Hugo, a young boy, heading down to the river to see if the story his grandmother told him was true. She shared a story about some swans that had the ability to travel between worlds. Eala, the Mother Swan, was the most special of all. As the sun is setting, Hugo sees Eala and asks to go with her. Eala recognizes that Hugo needs this magic to become whole again and she allows him to ride on her back. Hugo has a magical journey and when he returns to the river in the morning he has been healed.

Eala: The Mother Swan / La Madre Cisne is a beautifully lyrical story. Ayn Cates Sullivan has written a magical folktale-like story. Nature is so inspiring and healing and it is easy to imagine at the beginning and end of the day that there is a moment where we can slip into another world. What is so lovely about this book is that Hugo finds a way to heal himself as he journeys with Eala, the Mother Swan. Paige Ozma Ashmore has created some beautiful soft pastel illustrations that enhance the gentleness of the story. Parents and grandparents will enjoy sharing this lovely bedtime tale with their young ones. It will send them off to dream about their own magical night-time adventures.

Susan Sewell

A little boy discovers magic in the night when he asks a special friend for help in the bilingual fairytale, Eala Mother Swan/La Madre Cisne by Ayn Cates Sullivan. Hugo's grandmother has told him fascinating and magical stories about a beautiful swan that can travel between the worlds. Bullied by his brothers for believing in magic, Hugo decides it's time to find out if Grandmother's stories about Eala are true. Going to the pond in the evening when the sun and moon are perfectly aligned, Hugo searches in the reeds for Mother Swan. As he watches the regal creatures take flight, he desperately looks for Eala. Almost too late, he sees Mother Swan and calls out to her requesting that she take him with her between worlds. Will Eala hear him? Will Hugo find what he is seeking?

Eala Mother Swan/La Madre Cisne by Ayn Cates Sullivan is a lovely children's picture book about a young boy and a mythical creature with unique abilities. Colorfully illustrated, the essence of the story captures the soul, encouraging the heart to find its song and remember who it is. Written in both English and Spanish, the book is ideal for bilingual readers and anyone who wants to practice a second language. The book's message is a pleasant reminder of who we are as spiritual beings. This story is sure to delight children ages 4-7.

Bruce Arrington

Eala, Mother Swan / La Madre Cisne by Ayn Cates Sullivan is a 32-page-long children’s illustrated book, beautifully crafted in detailed pastel colors. It is a fairy tale written in both English and Spanish simultaneously. A young boy named Hugo goes in search of the Eala, the magical swan his grandmother has told him about. He finds her just as she is preparing to fly between the worlds. Circling back down, Hugo climbs on her back and she takes him between the crack of night and day so he can find the songs and colors of his heart and soul. But the story goes deeper, for we come to understand the child has suffered wounds for ever so long. By taking this ride can he allow his soul to be restored, and learn the importance of being childlike again?

I liked the way the author chose to bring two languages onto the same page—an excellent way to learn Spanish (or English words) and to slow down and thoroughly enjoy the story. The story itself is of a gentle soul who seeks magic, with the hope of attaining something greater than what he currently is. Can he learn his value and restore what was once lost? Eala, Mother Swan / La Madre Cisne, by Ayn Cates Sullivan, is a beautifully illustrated book that children will enjoy reading over and over. The magical story passed down from past generations illustrates the importance of family and traditions. A recommended read.