Tag Archives: Joanna Ho

Eyes that Speak to the Stars – Joanna Ho/Dung Ho

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Harper Collins Australia

March 2022

  • ISBN: 9780063057753
  • ISBN 10: 0063057751
  • Imprint: HarperCollins US
  • List Price: 24.99 AUD

Last year, in my old library, we fell in love with Eyes That Kiss in the Corners and so did our kiddos, many of whom could make connections with the cultural heritage of the characters. This beautiful companion book will be equally well-received I believe.

When a young boy is made to notice his eyes as being different in shape to those of his friends, he feels sad and an outsider. The love and wisdom of his father and grandfather, and the recognition that his eyes are like theirs, as are his little brother’s, lift his spirits to the skies – just as his eyes tilt to the skies. The endless possibilities of light and destiny revealed by the night skies with their constellations and comets are all his, as his eyes speak to the stars.

Once again it is not just the lyrical text with its resonant message of inclusivity and the beauty of cultural heritage, but the superb illustrations that make this such a stunner of a book. The iconic visual references to the family’s heritage: dragons, pagodas, rice paddies, night markets, lanterns and more are a virtual feast for the eyes.

With Harmony Day just around the corner, this will make a fabulous focus for your celebrations in the library or classroom, particularly when paired with its companion. And so much rich discussion and activities, particularly art, could ensue!!

Check out the teaching guide here as well.

HIghly recommended for your readers from Prep upwards.

Eyes that Kiss in the Corners – Joanna Ho. Illustrated by Dung Ho.

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Harper Collins Australia

May 2021

  • ISBN: 9780062915627
  • ISBN 10: 0062915622
  • Imprint: HarperCollins US
  • RRP: $24.99

This stunningly beautiful and lyrical book has been one of the most talked about on children’s book lists around the world for the past few weeks, and once you see it and read it, you will quickly realise why it is so. I, for one, cannot wait for this to be shared with our junior students, so many of whom are Asian, and whom, I am sure, will love to see themselves and their culture/s reflected in such a splendid fashion.

This young Asian girl recognises that her eyes look different to so many of her classmates and friends but it is the realisation that they are the same beautiful eyes are her mother’s, her grandmother’s and her little sister’s that makes her heart sing. The strength, resilience, joy and hope she draws from the females in her family resonate deeply with her and empower her as she embraces her own diversity and special features.

Joanna Ho is American-born of Taiwanese/Chinese parents and this combination in itself, will have authentic connections for so many of our young students who are mainly drawn from Chinese, Taiwanese and Korean families (but we do have numerous other nationalities among our student populations – truly a diverse school!). I actually believe that it a book that would be well-received as a read-aloud and springboard for discussion amongst older students as well and intend to share it with my Year 7s as start their literature-based unit after the holidays.

...eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons

Highly recommended for your readers, no matter their cultural origins, from Prep upwards.

Teaching Guide