Winter 2020 Kids Indie Next List
“Eyes That Kiss in the Corners is a stunning #OwnVoices picture book that highlights a young Asian girl’s self-love and appreciation of her eye shape. It is a characteristic that binds her to women across generations in her family. The beautiful prose of Joanna Ho is richly complemented by Dung Ho’s vibrant illustrations. This book is a moving tribute to the beauty of diversity both in physical appearance and heritage.”
— Audrey Beatty, River Bend Bookshop, Glastonbury, CT
A New York Times Bestseller and #1 Indie Bestseller
This 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
About the Author
Joanna Ho is passionate about equity in books and education. She has been an English teacher, a dean, and a teacher professional development mastermind. She is currently the vice principal of a high school in the San Francisco Bay Area. Homemade chocolate chip cookies, outdoor adventures, and dance parties with her kids make Joanna’s eyes crinkle into crescent moons. Her books for young readers include Eyes That Kiss in the Corners. Visit her at www.joannahowrites.com and @JoannaHoWrites.
Dung (pronounced Dzung) Ho is a New York Times bestselling illustrator based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Her work focuses on children’s books. She also loves to draw interesting characters with unique personalities. When she’s not drawing, she enjoys cooking, watching movies, walking, and tending to her plants. Visit her at www.behance.net/hanhdung.
“When the narrator comes to describe her own eyes and acknowledges the power they hold, she is posed against swirling patterns, figures, and swaths of breathtaking landscapes from Chinese culture. This tale of self-acceptance and respect for one’s roots is breathtaking.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Sweeping, expressive illustrations deeply connect readers to the many dimensions of this story…each word is carefully chosen to beautifully enhance the message. Expertly paired, the text and illustrations amplify each other superbly, in an important addition to every library serving young children and their families.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)
“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.”
— Booklist (starred review)
“A poignant testament to familial love and legacy.”
— Publishers Weekly