Children's & Young Adult Books

The gift of vision: ‘Eyes That Speak to the Stars’ by Joanna Ho

This gloriously illustrated picture book by American author Joanna Ho and illustrated by Dung Ho, celebrates difference, heritage and love. It’s a follow up to the beautifully titled Eyes That Kiss in the Corners.

A little boy of Asian heritage is unhappy about the difference between his eyes and those of his school friends, and confides in his father:

The other day,
when Baba picked me up from school,
I didn’t run in for a hug
the way I usually do;
I stared at my toes
where it was safe.
“What’s wrong?” Baba asked,
and all my hurt tumbled out.

Eyes That Speak to the Stars

His father explains to him that the little boy’s eyes come from his father, his grandfather Agong, and all their ancestors – and that his little brother Di-Di has the same eyes.

Agong has an answer
for every question I ask
on our early morning walks,
but when I hug him goodnight,
he cups my face in his hands
and looks at me
like I am the only answer that matters.

Eyes That Speak to the Stars

This is a story about heritage, and family love in all its forms. I recently reviewed The Love that Grew, which tells of the love a mother feels for her children. Eyes That Speak to the Stars is a celebration of boys and their fathers, grandfathers, and the links that bind generations together. It’s a big story for little people, but the lyrical text and rich illustrations tell it well.

Eyes That Speak to the Stars is published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in March 2022.
My thanks to the publishers for a review copy.

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