Written By: Joanna Ho
Illustrated by: Dung Ho
For Ages: 4-8 years
Topics Covered: Family, Asian Protagonists, Self-Esteem, Confidence, Social-Emotional Learning, Own Voices.
Summary: This book is stunningly beautiful in artwork and text. This empowering story has a main character that loves that her eyes are the same as her family members, their eyes all kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea. The story focuses on joy and loving family; the things they do together, the happy moments they relish, and their eyes that glow like a revolution.
In a society that has very entrenched Eurocentric beauty standards portrayed in the media, self-esteem and confidence is truly a revolutionary act. The illustrations that Dung Ho brought to life phenomenally support the text. The colors are bright, and the pictures are a mix of actual family moments and abstract imaginations from our main character.
I’m sure you’ve been seeing this book all of Instagram lately, and rightfully so! Eyes That Kiss in the Corners is a story that fills the reader with warm joy, and I’m so, so excited for it to be out in the world in early 2021!
From Joanna’s bio for silly people:
“I live in the Bay Area, California with my two rascally children. When I’m not at home stepping on LEGOs and chasing around a toddler who won’t put on her pull-up, I’m at my school doing big, important vice principal things like chasing around teenagers who refuse to go to class.
In the summer, you can find me in a muumuu and flip-flops planning trips to the beach and eating buckets of Marianne’s 1020 ice cream. In the winter, I live in baggy sweats and fuzzy socks, and I turn into a holiday tradition overlord who is determined to pack every possible holiday activity into not enough time. This is how I became a writer of children’s books; I was hunting for holiday books with diverse characters for my newborn, and realized there weren’t very many. I started writing because I believe all kids need to see themselves and others in books.
If I’m not writing, vice-principalling, or mommying, I am most likely searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, reading books by diverse creators, or tromping through nature on epic outdoor adventures.”