|Eyes that kiss in the corners
Author: Ho, Joanna
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. Drawing from the strength of the powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self-love and empowerment.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.70
Points: .5 Quiz: 510702
Kirkus Reviews (+) (11/01/20)
Booklist (+) (03/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2020 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 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/01/2021 *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. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.