Eyes That Speak to the Stars

by Joanna Ho (Author) Dung Ho (Illustrator)

Eyes That Speak to the Stars
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

New York Times bestselling team Joanna Ho and Dung Ho present Eyes That Speak to the Stars, companion to the acclaimed Eyes That Kiss in the Corners.

A young Asian boy notices that his eyes look different from his peers' after seeing his friend's drawing of them. After talking to his father, the boy realizes that his eyes rise to the skies and speak to the stars, shine like sunlit rays, and glimpse trails of light from those who came before--in fact, his eyes are like his father's, his agong's, and his little brother's, and they are visionary. Inspired by the men in his family, he recognizes his own power and strength from within. This extraordinary picture book redefines what it means to be truly you.

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners received three starred reviews and was embraced as breathtaking, lyrical, and poignant. This companion volume is sure to be welcomed with equal joy.

Select format:

School Library Journal

Starred Review

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.--Kimberly Olson Fakih, School Library Journal

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.


The circular narration emphasizes the reassuring similarities between blood relatives and the continuity of family tradition. A beautifully validating book that builds on the necessary work of its predecessor. (Picture book. 4-8).

Copyright 2021 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with permission.

Joanna Ho

Joanna Ho is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of many children's books including Eyes that Kiss in the Corners; Eyes that Speak to the Stars; Eyes that Weave the World's Wonders, Say My Name, and Playing at the Border: A Story of Yo-Yo Ma, recipient of an Ezra Jack Keats Honor. Her debut young adult novel, The Silence that Binds Us, received the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, Young Adult Honor. She earned her Masters in Educational Leadership at the Principal's Leadership Institute at the University of California, Berkeley and has been a classroom teacher, program designer and high school administrator. Her passion for equity in books and education is matched only by her love of homemade chocolate chip cookies, outdoors adventures, and dance parties with her kids. Visit her at www.joannahowrites.com

Cátia Chien is a Brazilian Taiwanese artist. She's the illustrator of such titles as The Bear and the Moon, which was a Society of Illustrators Gold Medal for Original Art winner and a Golden Kite Award for picture book illustration winner, A Boy and a Jaguar, an ALA Notable Book and recipient of the Schneider Family Book Award. Her art has been shown in galleries worldwide, including the Beijing National Gallery and the Bologna Children's Book Fair exhibition. She is also the founder of A Thousand Worlds, a curated picture book directory celebrating BIPOC creators.

She lives in California.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
January 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV013060 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Parents
JUV039140 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
JUV005000 - Juvenile Fiction | Boys & Men
JUV011020 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - Asian American
JUV012060 - Juvenile Fiction | Legends, Myths, Fables | Asian
JUV074000 - Juvenile Fiction | Diversity & Multicultural
Library of Congress categories

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!