What are your eyes like?
After an innocent drawing at school upsets a young Asian boy he seeks comfort in the arms of his father. Why did his friend draw him with lines for eyes rather than circles like everyone else’s? His eyes are so much than just two straight lines. They ‘rise to the skies and speak to the stars.’ Like his Baba, his Agong and his younger brother, he has eyes that are visionary and with them he is the emperor of his own destiny…
Touching and moving, Eyes That Speak to the Stars is a gorgeous companion and follow-up to Joanna Ho’s and Dung Ho’s first book, Eyes That Kiss in Corners. Rather than a young Asian girl, this time our main protagonist is a young Asian boy who becomes upset after seeing how another classmate views his eyes. On hand are three generations of the boy’s family to help him find the strength and confidence in his own beauty. These meaningful interactions ultimately inspiring the boy to feel proud of the way he looks.
This splendid celebration of family and diversity will enable all children to be proud of themselves and will give them the strength to not let negative comments or, in this case, drawings get them down. I dream of a day when we embrace the differences of others and no one is ever made to feel inferior but in current times racism, prejudice and discrimination are a sad part of life. So until the day that I long for comes to pass, having books for young readers that raise important issues and that open the doors for conversation are vital.
Children who feel ‘different’ will be empowered and find courage from the young boy who learns to walk with his head held high, to look at the stars and the sky with his visionary eyes. For others, this is a gentle and necessary lesson in being culturally aware, being sensitive and being respectful to others. Every one of us is worthy and special and this message sings from the pages of this uplifting, comforting and reassuring read.
Using the same formula as the first book, affirmations are delivered in a lyrical mix of prose, smilies and metaphors and are surrounded by stunning artwork. Each and every page of this celebration of heritage, family and loving ones self radiates with heart and love as the four generations of males embrace their wondrous eyes.
Books that celebrate diversity and encourage children to embrace everything that makes them the unique individuals that they are are priceless. Eyes That Speak to the Stars is a glorious picture book; breathtakingly beautiful and with a meaningful and powerful message. This lesson in loving yourself, being proud of who you are and the importance of celebrating and acknowledging family and heritage is an essential book to have on the shelves.
With huge thanks to Harper Collins for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 4+.