Eyes That Kiss in the Corners is a rating of five for Dung Ho’s illustrations alone. To me, they are the story. That’s not to say the story is a bad story, farm from it. It is a delightful story that shows how from the start the narrator, a young girl, loving her eyes by showing the history, myths and love of her culture and family. But it is a story that we have read before. Yet, there is nothing wrong with that. It is the execution of Joanna Ho’s words that make it fresh and new. But again, the art was what drew me in and kept me there.
The art makes the words come to life. Descriptions like “glow like warm tea” and “crinkle into crescent moons” are more alive when seen in the bold, bright, beyond detailed story. Diversity is celebrated poetically. The images represent the culture the young girl comes from without being specific to one Asian culture. The illustrations are ones I would frame. The cover might be simple, but even then, there are much in the way of details, and once you get into the book, the details and colors explode onto the page.
Most people can relate to the journey the girl takes us on when she shows us how she looks like her family and they look like her. She also shows the interactions she has with them (the scene with her little sister is one many a sibling has probably been part of). I seriously cannot say enough about this picture book. My only regret is that it officially does not come out until January 2021.