Mamá the Alien/Mamá la extraterrestre
By Kirkus Reviews
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.