Home Features The butterfly effect—old Irish myth flies to Laos

The butterfly effect—old Irish myth flies to Laos

A one thousand year old Irish myth has flown all the way to Laos.

An Féileacán Agus An Rí (The Butterfly and the King) written by Máire Zepf, illustrated by Shona Shirley Macdonald and published by Futa Fata is one of ten books selected by the EU to be translated into the Lao language and distributed to libraries throughout the country.

An Féileacán Agus An Rí is a retelling of a 1,000 year-old Irish myth – the story of Éadaoin, turned into a butterfly by a jealous rival for the love of King Mír. It was published by Futa Fata in 2019. 

author Máire Zepf and illustrator Shona Shirley Macdonald

Books For Laos children

The EU programme aims to share traditional European children’s books with Laos children. These books, primarily designed for children aged seven to twelve years old will be distributed to the National Library of Laos as well as to other libraries in the country where the number of books for children is still limited.

An Féileacán Agus An Rí was put forward for selection by the Irish embassy in Hanoi, which also has responsibility for Laos. A total of 1,500 copies of An Féileacán Agus An Rí will be sent to libraries across the country for young people to read as part of the initiative. 


I’m over the moon to see our ‘Féileacán’ take flight and make this incredible journey across the world. There is such a real magic for children in finding faraway times and places in the pages of a picture book and this is made all the more precious by this tale’s place in our own tradition.

Author Máire Zepf