Eyes That Kiss in the Corners

Joanna Ho, illus. by Dung Ho. HarperCollins, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-291562-7
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.)
Reviewed on : 12/03/2020
Release date: 01/05/2021
Genre: Children's
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