Featuring Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, by Joanna Ho and Dung Ho
The Children’s Book Review
If you haven’t met Joanna Ho, here’s your chance! Her gorgeous debut picture book Eyes That Kiss in the Corners just hit the shelves of bookstores everywhere. Published by HarperCollins and illustrated by the talented Dung Ho, Eyes That Kiss in the Corners encourages self-love, shows that we are all enough just as we are, and demonstrates the deep bonds and connections we hold with our family and ancestors. Heartfelt and heartwarming, this is a book that will bring joy to all who read it. Wait until you see how many new books she has on the way. Based on this debut alone, we are all in for a major treat.
Joanna Ho is the author of Eyes that Kiss in the Corners (Jan 5, 2021), Playing at the Border: A Story of Yo-Yo Ma (Fall 2021), The Silence that Binds Us (2022), and One Day (2023). She is a writer and educator with a passion for anti-bias, anti-racism, and equity work. She is currently the vice-principal of a high school in the Bay Area, where she survives on homemade chocolate chip cookies, outdoor adventures, and dance parties with her kids. Keep your eyes open for more books to come!
Joanna Ho’s Selfie with Eyes That Kiss in the Corners
This photo was taken exactly one week before EYES THAT KISS IN THE CORNERS was released into the world. I’m smiling so big mostly because I can’t believe it is finally happening – I’ve been waiting for this day for years and it’s finally just around the corner – and also because taking this selfie made me realize that I either have extremely short arms or a very large head because I couldn’t figure out a way to fit both the book and my head into the frame. In the photo, I’m wearing a shirt that my mom gave me. This book is about finding one’s personal power through family relationships and I wanted to have a piece of my family in the image with me. I hope that readers will recognize not only their own physical beauty but also the power that flows through generations and enables all of us to create change in the world.
Joanna Ho’s Shelfie
I have a lot of bookshelves around my little home. I thought about cheating and moving some books from my educator and YA shelves onto my kids’ bookshelves to show a wider range of books that I enjoy reading, but ultimately I decided not to. My day job is as the vice principal of a high school, and some of my responsibilities include working with students who are caught cutting corners and misrepresenting their work, so I felt some type of way about doing that for this photo!
This is a picture of the bookshelf in my kids’ room. I have two goofballs – age 3 and 6 – and my favorite part of the day is snuggling them while we read books at bedtime. I try to fill our shelves with inclusive books that particularly highlight the stories and voices of people who have historically been marginalized. You can see a lot of anti-racist books and social justice-themed books on my shelves because I work hard to teach my kids to be aware and critical of the society in which we live. I want them to grow up empowered and ready to do their part to dismantle injustice and oppression. That is also my goal as an educator and author. If you look carefully, though, you’ll see it’s not always (or even mostly!) serious in our home. WHERE IS THE POOP? is probably my 3-year-old’s favorite book, and my 6-year-old is a LEGO fanatic, so we have a lot of LEGO books in our home. These bookshelves give me inspiration to write and tell stories – I see what an impact they have on my own kids and I hope that I tell stories that do the same in homes and schools outside my own.
To learn more about Joanna Ho, visit Joannahowrites.com and IG, Twitter, FB: @joannahowrites.
Publisher’s Synopsis: 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.
Buy the Book
Discover more books like Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, written by Joanna Ho and illustrated by Dung Ho, by checking out our reviews and articles tagged with Asian American Books, Picture Book, Self-Empowerment, and Self-Love. Be sure to follow along with our Selfie and a Shelfie series, too!