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Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho – Book Review

Jan 31st 2023

"Some people have eyes like sapphire lagoons with lashes like lace trim on ballgowns, sweeping their cheeks as they twirl. Big eyes, long lashes. Not me. I have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea."

This stunning picture book celebrates diversity through its poetic style about a young girl learning to love her Asian-shaped eyes. When she notices that her eyes look different from her friends, the young girl looks closely at the eyes of the special people in her life. This makes her realise that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother’s and her curious little sister’s. They too 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.

She reflects on the beauty of her own, unique eyes and is incredibly positive and proud of the likeness with her family members. The bond between the generations of women in this book are beautifully shared: illustrated perfectly when Amah shares her Chinese folklore stories that transport her granddaughter into magical worlds. “Her eyes are filled with so many stories: I can fall inside them and swim until time stops.”

The girl’s joy and excitement are captured and clear to see through the eye-catching illustrations. We are taken on her journey of discovery as she learns her eyes carry a rich history. “My eyes find mountains that rise ahead and look up when others shut down. My lashes curve like the swords of warriors and, through them, I see kingdoms in the clouds.”

This book is such a lovely celebration of cultural and ethnic pride. People often say that eyes are the windows to the soul: this book certainly captures these words. “When Mama tucks me in at night, her eyes tell me I’m a miracle. In those moments when she’s all mine, flecks of dancing gold tell me I’m hers too.”

We would recommend sharing this book with EYFS and KS1 to facilitate discussions about family bonds, self-love and empowerment.


You can buy the book here.