If you’re looking for a unique picture book about princesses, sisters, or compassion, I’ve got you covered today! Kuan Yin: The Princess Who Became the Goddess of Compassion by Maya van der Meer is a stunning retelling of an ancient Chinese Buddhist tale with a delightfully modern message.
Kuan Yin follows the story of Princess Miao Shan and her younger sister Princess Ling. Much to their father’s chagrin, Miao Shan has chosen a spiritual path for her life, rejecting the duties of her royal title. Her heart is filled with love and compassion, and she wants to share it with the world. Though Miao Shan and Ling are separated during their journey, their love continues to bring them back together. Ling overcomes her own doubt and loneliness while witnessing her sister’s path to enlightenment. Together they accomplish impossible tasks and realize the true power of love.
I really appreciated the relationship between the sisters in Kuan Yin and the way they support one another. As someone who didn’t learn to get along with her sister until adulthood, I love a positive example of sisterhood for young readers, and Kuan Yin does not disappoint.
The incredible illustrations by Wen Hsu are inspired by the Tang Dynasty, and they truly bring the sisters’ adventures to life. Every page is beautifully detailed, and the colors are absolutely stunning.
Kuan Yin is out now and available wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)
I am also giving away a copy of Kuan Yin over on Instagram this weekend, so be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win!
Maya van der Meer is an author, educator, environmentalist, and long-time Buddhist practitioner based in Woodstock, New York. Please visit her website at mayavandermeer.com to learn more about her and her work.
Wen Hsu is an award-winning Taiwanese-Costa Rican illustrator who has illustrated stories for children in a number of countries, including Japan, Korea, Guatemala, India, Nicaragua, and more. To learn more about her and her work, please visit her Facebook page.
I want to thank Bala Kids for kindly providing me with a review copy of Kuan Yin: The Princess Who Became the Goddess of Compassion. This beautiful book is an absolute delight and I’m honored to be able to share it today.