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Book Details:

Book Title:  Kai the Dancing Butterfly by Crystal Z. Lee
CategoryChildren's Fiction (Ages 3-7), 38 pages
GenreChildren's Fiction
Publisher: Balestier Press
Publication Date: February 2022.
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

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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Author Interview
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 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: Novels by Taiwanese authors or books based in Taiwan that you recommend?
A: Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho, Bestiary by K-Ming Chang, Green Island by Shawna Yang Ryan.


Q: Favorite Taiwanese films or movies based in Taiwan?
A: Some recent Taiwanese movies I've enjoyed: American Girl, Dear Ex, My Missing Valentine.


Q: You grew up between Taiwan and California. What was it like balancing the two cultures at such a young age?
A: I attended kindergarten and first grade in California, then second to the eighth grade in Taiwan, then high school and college in the US.  It was a bit of a struggle when I was younger, moving between continents with such frequency. But it also laid the foundation for a bicultural, bilingual upbringing, and for that I'm very grateful.



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

Meet the Illustrator:

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. 
Tour Schedule:

April 11 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
April 11 - Cover Lover Book Review – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 11 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 11 - My Reading Getaway – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 12 – Bookworm for Kid – book spotlight / giveaway
April 13 – Kam's Place – book spotlight / author interview
April 14 – A Mama's Corner of the World – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 18 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 19 – Library Lady's Kid Lit – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 20 – GIna Rae Mitchell – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 21 – fundinmental – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 22 – Writer with Wanderlust – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 25 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 26 – I'm Into Books – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 27 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 28 – The Phantom Paragrapher – book spotlight / giveaway
April 29 – Lisa's Reading – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway

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