Kai the Dancing Butterfly Book Spotlight & Author Interview

This morning, we have a children's book to share! Check out Kai the Dancing Butterfly, learn about author Crystal Z. Lee, read an interview with the author & be sure to enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.

If you are visiting from the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, K is for Kai the Dancing Butterfly today!

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

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About the Book

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


Read an Interview with the Author


Kai the Dancing Butterfly by Crystal Z. Lee

Topic: Writing Influences

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, and where one of my kids was born!

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: How do your own kids and family influence the inspiration behind your children's books?

A: My children are very fond of butterflies, unicorns, and animals in general! Kai the Dancing Butterfly is also a story about sisters, and I have two daughters and a sister as well. Naturally, I had to write a story about sisterhood!

Q: We noticed that in both of your children's books, Kai the Dancing Butterfly and A Unicorn Named Rin, the focus is on animal characters rather than human characters. What is your thinking behind that?

A: I'm also a novelist and the stories for my older readers are all written from the point-of-view of human characters. Therefore for my children's books I wanted to explore a different perspective. I also love animals and it was so fun writing about the various animal species.

Q: Advice for aspiring children's books writers?

A: Spend time with children, and with children's books! I think writing for kids takes alot of empathy. It's important to put ourselves in their shoes and see the world from their eyes. My kids help me with that!

Q: Can you reveal what sort of writing projects you're working on now?

A: I'm working on a novel based in Taiwan, and another children's book based in Asia.

Buy the Book

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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

About 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. 

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