Eyes That Speak to the Stars

HarperCollins/Harper. Jan. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780063057753.
K-Gr 4–Ho’s companion book to Eyes That Kiss in the Corners addresses the male side of the family after an upsetting incident leaves the narrator, whose name we never learn, feeling down. On a drawing of “My Friends,” another boy has shown all of them with round eyes, except for the narrator’s. His are two straight lines. Instead of hugging his father after school, the boy explains his sadness over the drawing, and is quickly consoled. “Your eyes rise to the skies and speak to the stars. The comets and constellations show you their secrets, and your eyes can foresee the future. Just like mine.” The boy finds similar features in his agong’s eyes, and in baby Di-Di’s, too, “eyes that shine like runaway lights.” As reassuring as the first book, willing to reach to the constellations as well as back through time to show what these eyes have seen, this entry not only complements the original, but extends the conversation beyond history and into a future of possibilities. The illustrations depict cultural icons, dragons, kites, temples, and structures that give the boy a sparkle in his eyes and make his life a celebration.
VERDICT Together these books form a brilliant treatise to love of self and heritage, and belong on every shelf.

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