Eyes that kiss in the corners

Joanna Ho

Book - 2021

"A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother's, her grandmother's, and her little sister's. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future. Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers... a path to self love and empowerment. This powerful, poetic picture book will resonate with readers of all ages and is a celebration of diversity."--Provided by publisher.

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jE/Ho
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jE/Ho
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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 2021
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
34 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Audience
Ages 4-8.
ISBN
9780062915627
0062915622
Main Author
Joanna Ho (author)
Other Authors
Dung Ho (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* This tale starts with a negative: a young Asian girl notes that her eyes are decidedly not big, with enviably long lashes, like those of her classmates. But what follows is overwhelmingly positive, a lyrical celebration of her eyes, their shape, spirit, and legacy. The protagonist tells her story chiefly through the emotional relationships between herself and three generations of female family members, all of whom have those same eyes that "kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea." From her mother's eyes, she draws nurturing love, while in her grandmother's, she sees a wealth of stories that reach into the past and into traditions from a foreign land. In her little sister's eyes, she discovers adoration that empowers her. At the emotional height of the story, the poetic descriptions of her Asian eyes are mythic and affirming, and she appears amid grandiose illustrations of fantastical beasts and landscapes from Chinese culture. In the end, the tale winds down from the mythical back to the personal with a simple family portrait. All that beauty is there in the eyes of her family. The writing, enhanced by warm, bold illustrations, is a powerful exercise in learning to see beauty in what's different. Preschool-Grade 1. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* This tale starts with a negative: a young Asian girl notes that her eyes are decidedly not big, with enviably long lashes, like those of her classmates. But what follows is overwhelmingly positive, a lyrical celebration of her eyes, their shape, spirit, and legacy. The protagonist tells her story chiefly through the emotional relationships between herself and three generations of female family members, all of whom have those same eyes that "kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea." From her mother's eyes, she draws nurturing love, while in her grandmother's, she sees a wealth of stories that reach into the past and into traditions from a foreign land. In her little sister's eyes, she discovers adoration that empowers her. At the emotional height of the story, the poetic descriptions of her Asian eyes are mythic and affirming, and she appears amid grandiose illustrations of fantastical beasts and landscapes from Chinese culture. In the end, the tale winds down from the mythical back to the personal with a simple family portrait. All that beauty is there in the eyes of her family. The writing, enhanced by warm, bold illustrations, is a powerful exercise in learning to see beauty in what's different. Preschool-Grade 1. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

This poetic tale of self-acceptance by author Ho follows a Chinese American girl who recognizes how her eyes—different from peers with "eyes like sapphire lagoons"—evoke those of her mother, grandmother, and younger sister: "eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea." Mama's eyes inform the first-person narrator that "I'm a miracle," while Amah's eyes "are filled with so many stories," and Mei-Mei's eyes gaze "up at me/ like I am her best present." Warm, dimensional digital spreads by illustrator Ho (the Mindy Kim series) bolster this celebration of heritage with images of peonies, chrysanthemums, dragons, phoenixes, and figures from Chinese mythology, including Chang'e and the Jade Rabbit, Guanyin, and the Monkey King. Readers familiar with Chinese culture will recognize additional touches: Amah wears a jade bracelet, and an upside-down Fú character heralding good fortune is pasted by the family's front door. A poignant testament to familial love and legacy. Ages 4–8. Author's agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary. (Jan.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

K-Gr 3—When she does not share physical traits with those around her, a young girl finds beauty in her uniqueness. One day at school, a young girl of Asian heritage remarks on the shape and color of the eyes of the light- and dark-skinned girls in her class. Instead of having big eyes with long lashes, hers "kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea." At home, the girl celebrates all she shares with her Mama, Amah, and little sister Mei-Mei. Together, these four women view the world through their matching, expressive eyes. Even when she feels apart from her peers at school, the young protagonist finds solace in the shared appearance of her family's eyes. Sweeping, expressive illustrations deeply connect readers to the many dimensions of this story. The featured characters comprise three generations of Asian women; the only male in the book is found in the background of a scene in the schoolyard. Lyrical text propels the story; while relatively limited, each word is carefully chosen to beautifully enhance the message. VERDICT Expertly paired, the text and illustrations amplify each other superbly, in an important addition to every library serving young children and their families.—Mary Lanni, formerly at Denver P.L. Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A New York Times Bestseller and #1 Indie BestsellerThis lyrical, stunning picture book tells a story about learning to love and celebrate your Asian-shaped eyes, in the spirit of Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, and is a celebration of diversity.A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother's, her grandmother's, and her little sister's. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future. Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self-love and empowerment. This powerful, poetic picture book will resonate with readers of all ages."This tale of self-acceptance and respect for one's roots is breathtaking.' 'Kirkus (starred review)'A young girl finds beauty in her uniqueness.' 'School Library Journal (starred review)'A lyrical celebration of her eyes, their shape, spirit, and legacy.'  'Booklist (starred review)'A poignant testament to familial love and legacy.' 'Publishers Weekly

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A New York Times Bestseller and #1 Indie Bestseller · A Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year · A School Library Journal Best Book of 2021 · Included in NPR’s 2021 Books We Love List · Featured in Forbes, Oprah Daily, The Cut, and Book Riot · Golden Poppy Book Award Winner · Featured in Chicago Public Library’s Best Books of 2021 · 2021 Nerdy Award Winner · A Kirkus Children's Best Book of 2021This lyrical, stunning picture book tells a story about learning to love and celebrate your Asian-shaped eyes, in the spirit of Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, and is a celebration of diversity.A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother's, and her little sister's. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future.Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self-love and empowerment. This powerful, poetic picture book will resonate with readers of all ages."This tale of self-acceptance and respect for one’s roots is breathtaking.” —Kirkus (starred review)“A young girl finds beauty in her uniqueness.” —School Library Journal (starred review)“A lyrical celebration of her eyes, their shape, spirit, and legacy.”  —Booklist (starred review)“A poignant testament to familial love and legacy.” —Publishers WeeklyPlus don't miss the beautiful companion book from the same team: Eyes That Speak to the Stars.