Book Title: Kai the Dancing Butterfly by Crystal Z. Lee
Category: Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7), 38 pages
Genre: Children's Fiction
Publisher: Balestier Press
Publication Date: February 2022.
Content Rating: G
Kai and Ami are dancing butterflies from Taiwan! They have a performance coming up at the Winter Festival dance show in the southern part of the island. They are currently in northern Taiwan, so they need to hurry and start flying south. That's far for a butterfly! Kai is worried about the long journey, and about the big show too. Can Kai step up to the challenge?
Kai the Dancing Butterfly celebrates Taiwan's natural scenic wonders, amazing animal species, and incredible Indigenous cultures. This children's book is a marvelous read for all those who love Taiwan, or for those who'd like to learn more about Taiwanese culture. This elaborately illustrated picture book makes an ideal gift:
*Real locations in Taiwan make for an inspiring geography, history and cultural lesson
*Storyline sparks dialogue around empathy, kindness, courage, faith, perseverance, friendship, and the support between siblings
*Exquisite illustrations of Taiwan's majestic animals and endangered species fosters learning around ecological conservation and habitat protection
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Meet the Author:
Crystal Z. Lee is a bilingual writer who grew up in Taiwan and California. She has called many places home, including Taipei, New York, Shanghai, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Crystal is also the author of the children's book A Unicorn Named Rin, and the novel, Love and Other Moods.
connect with the author: instagram ~ goodreads
Topic: Setting the Scene
Q: What was your inspiration for Kai the Dancing Butterfly? Why butterflies? A: Taiwan has over 400 species of butterflies, 50 of which are endemic to the island! Taiwan is also home to the beautiful purple crow butterfly population, which makes up one of the planet's largest butterfly migration overwintering congregation. My children and I adore butterflies, so I was inspired to write a children's book about this unique butterfly species from Taiwan, where I grew up as a child.
Q: There are many Taiwanese locations in Kai the Dancing Butterfly. Which ones are favorites?
A: Sun Moon Lake is one, because of the very fond memories I have from boating and vacationing there. Another favorite spot is Yehliu Geopark, where you can find sandstone rock formations sculpted naturally by the wind and sea. I still remember my grandfather taking us there.
Q: What other special animal species are featured in Kai the Dancing Butterfly, besides butterflies?
A: The Taiwanese black bear, Formosan clouded leopard, Taiwanese blue magpie, Formosan landlocked salmon, Mikado pheasant, Formosan rock macaques, etc. There are many unique animals found only in Taiwan.
Q: What was your inspiration for the emphasis on Taiwanese Indigenous tribal clothing in the illustrations?
A: I collaborated with illustrator Allie Su, who, like me, also grew up in Taiwan. We researched special Taiwanese Indigenous attire and incorporated them into the story. It's our hope that this story can shed light on the plight of Indigenous tribes in Taiwan.
Q: What kind of message do you want to deliver in Kai the Dancing Butterfly?
A: I hope this book will spark an interest in learning more about Taiwan, and that it will raise awareness about ecological conservation and animal habitat protection.
Q: Who is the target audience for Kai the Dancing Butterfly?
A: This picture book is appropriate for children from ages 3-8. The backmatter of the book is great for the parents or caretakers to browse through because it contains more in depth information of the 30 locations mentioned in the story.
Allie Su was born and raised in Yunlin county, Taiwan. She attended Nanhua University in Chiayi city, majoring in Visual Arts. She is a professional illustrator, specializing in oil painting and ink painting.
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