A Unicorn Named Rin
Author: Crystal Z. Lee
Illustrator: Li Liu
Balestier Press (2021)
Reviewed by Lydia (age 7) for Reader Views Kids (5/21)
“A Unicorn Named Rin” by Crystal Z. Lee is the story about a unicorn named Rin who is asked by the princess to find the Royal Phoenix, Fan. Princess Pingyang is upset because she can’t find Fan anywhere and starts to think of where Fan might be. Rin gets help from friends. The first place he goes is to the lake where he meets Baihu the white tiger who offers to help. They look in the water and places that they knew he liked to be. On the way, Lon the purple dragon offers to help and they look in a cave and find Gui the turtle and messages on the walls from people a long time ago. They go to the festival where people were dancing and they sang a song. Rin is upset that they are singing because they can’t find Fan. Rin finally started singing with her friends and the Rin followed the song and found them. Then they go to the Princess’s party and sing their favorite song together. Rin now knows how to be a good friend with his new ones.
I like this story because I like that they found Fan, the phoenix. I like the pictures because they are pretty and each of the animals are a different color. Some of the pictures show Rin doing silly things. The pictures look different than other one’s I’ve seen, but I was told that it is because they are Chinese. I like all the colors. I didn’t know what all of the words meant in the story, so my mom explained them to me. This isn’t a book I could read on my own yet, but it was fun to listen. I know how Rin felt while trying to find Fan because I like to try to get things done right away, too, but I like that Rin found out how to calm down so that everyone felt happy, and that they ended up working together. I think that any kid would like this story because it’s easy to understand and imagine what’s happening.
Note from Mom: I like that this book brought some Chinese culture to Lydia. In the back of the book, the Chinese names for the animals in the story are listed, and then a short write-up about the real Princess Pingyang who lived in China during the Tang dynasty. I found this book educational for myself alongside Lydia while reading it to her. There isn’t anything wrong to say about the book, and I like that it emphasizes teamwork making the dream work.