Mamá the Alien/Mamá la extraterrestre
Do you believe in aliens? What if you found out they were part of your family? Laínez (My Shoes and I, 2010) creates an exceptional story about immigration with a new twist. In this bilingual picture book, Sofia accidentally finds her mamá’s resident alien card and is convinced her mother is from outer space. Sofia begins to wonder if this means that she is an alien, too, and sets out on a journey to figure it out. Through Sofia’s innocence, Laínez provides further insight into the very complicated U.S. naturalization process. This heartfelt and humorous story is perfect for primary-school readers, as well as a useful way for parents or educators to introduce the topic of immigration. An author’s note further explains the meaning of resident alien and will help readers understand the humor behind Sofia’s misunderstanding. Acrylic-and collage illustrations in cheery saturated tones showcase Sofia’s wild imaginings and the story’s joyful conclusion. For a similar tale, consider Amada Irma Perez’s My Diary from Here to There / Mi diario de aqui hasta alla (2002).