Mama The Alien/Mama la Extraterrestre (Bilingual Edition) (Spanish and English Edition)

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SKU: 0892392983 Categories: ,

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 3—Young Sofia finds her mother’s alien resident card, and her mother confirms the truth: she is an alien. Sofia’s imagination runs wild with questions. Does her mother visit her alien friends at night? Does her mother speak three languages—English, Spanish, and Alien? Is Sofia an alien, too? This is a very lighthearted and simple story about residency in the United States, particularly for Hispanics. The plot is playful and typical of a child’s interpretation of the situation. What the story lacks is the explanation of why Sofia’s mom has to apply for residency and, later, citizenship. Sofia’s parents are vague about the card’s meaning and give very little explanation to their daughter, who understands without further questions. Hopefully, parents who want to address this topic will have a more detailed discussion with their own children while reading this book. Also, Sofia’s suspect “research” about aliens at the library, which results in confirmation that aliens have antennae and four fingers on each hand, might confuse literal-minded young readers. Overall, the pictures are pleasant-looking, the subject is important to address with young children, and the story makes for very easy reading in both languages. VERDICT An additional purchase for libraries looking to expand their bilingual offerings and titles on immigration.—Jessica Espejel, New York Public Library

Review

**STARRED REVIEW** A young Latina is convinced her mother is an alien from another planet. While playing basketball, Sofía accidently knocks over Mamá’s purse, spilling out its contents, including a card with Mamá’s name and, in big, blue letters, the word “ALIEN” (or “extraterrestre”). After confirming that the card is indeed real and asking her parents additional questions, Sofía is sure that Mamá is an extraterrestrial from outer space and so her vivid imagination and desire to better understand take her to the library to research aliens. She cannot understand, however, why Mamá looks so humanlike. One especially effective double-page spread portrays Mamá’s silhouette, hair in curlers and wearing a robe, the beam of an open fridge door casting an elongated shadow on the kitchen wall. Lacámara’s fine, vibrant acrylic-and-collage illustrations dress the story in wonder and humor between colorful, golden kitchen scenes and deep, opaque extraterrestrial homages. Lacámara’s subtle indicator that Mamá is a Salvadoran immigrant is by way of a thought bubble in which she stands on the map outline of El Salvador. Colato Laínez offers readers the text in both English and Spanish side by side or above and below, neatly laid out with its corresponding illustrations and folding in a primer on the immigration process besides. A delightful, original, clever, purposeful, multicultural alien tale. –Kirkus Reviews, starred review

In this bilingual tale, Sofía s mother, a U.S. resident, isn t the extraterrestrial kind of alien; rather, she s from an unspecified Spanish-speaking country and has a residence card that reads ALIEN at the top. [T]he portrayal of a family member on a journey toward U.S. citizenship is a crucial story, especially for readers whose citizenship has never been called into question. Younger readers may not know that non-citizens are referred to as aliens, or that the children of non-citizens wrestle with unexpected questions: Mamá was an alien. Papá didn t have a card, so he was not an alien. That meant I was half alien, Sofía reasons. By devoting more narrative energy to the idea that Sofía s Mamá comes from outer space, Laínez keeps the story from turning sanctimonious or didactic. In warmly colored paintings, Lacámara matches stylized, folk art style humans with droll alien figures that feature a variety of arms, legs, antennae, and tentacles. –Publishers Weekly

This is a very lighthearted and simple story about residency in the United States, particularly for Hispanics. The plot is playful and typical of a child’s interpretation of the situation. . . . [T]he pictures are pleasant-looking, the subject is important to address with young children, and the story makes for very easy reading in both languages. –School Library Journal

About the Author

Rene Colato Lainez is the Salvadoran award-winning author of “I Am Rene, the Boy; Waiting for Papa;” and many other books that feature Latin American children learning about cultural identity. His picture books have been finalists for the Tejas Star Book Award, given special recognition by the Paterson Prize, and earned the International Latino Book Award. He was named as one of the “Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch (and Read)” by latinostories.com.

Specification: Mama The Alien/Mama la Extraterrestre (Bilingual Edition) (Spanish and English Edition)

Publisher
Language

Spanish English

Hardcover

32 pages

ISBN-10

0892392983

ISBN-13

978-0892392988

Lexile measure

AD560L

Grade level

2 – 3

Dimensions

11.25 x 0.25 x 9 inches

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