#SurvivalStories2021 Books Early Readers Genre Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Reading Themes Stories Of The Dispossessed

Say Hello To “Eyes That Glow Like Warm Tea”

"Eyes That Kiss In The Corners" by Joanna Ho and Dung Ho.


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Eyes That Kiss In The Corners [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Joanna Ho Illustrated by Dung Ho
Published by HarperCollins (2021)
ISBN: 9780062915627 (ISBN10: 0062915622) Borrowed from Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

Over the past several months, there has been a growing Anti Asian rhetoric around the world, ostensibly brought about by the chaos and uncertainty wrought by the pandemic.

Many im/migrants are profiled by virtue of their appearance (skin color or facial features) and linguistic patterns. Hence, it is even more urgent to combat both overt and covert (definitely more insidious) forms of racism by providing access to books such as this one to more children and young people everywhere.

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A majority of people with Asian ethnic origins (particularly Southeast Asians) are immediately recognizable by their “eyes that kiss in the corners.” Instead of the usual expected derogatory remarks, this book offers an alternative way of perceiving by providing a description that is not only poetic, but also culturally apt.

Screenshot 2021-04-24 at 11.22.06 AM

I also appreciated the strong intergenerational female ancestral line that is celebrated in this narrative: from Amah, to Mama, to young Mei-Mei. There is quiet pride and joy here – and what a revolution it is.


#SurvivalStories2021 Update: 50 out of target 100

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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