Parents' Guide to

Mamá the Alien/Mamá la Extraterrestre

By Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

A fun, bilingual take on being a documented immigrant.

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This lighthearted take on immigration and documentation shows a kid's confusion about what a resident alien identification card means. Laura Lacámara's bright, funny illustrations bring Sophia's imaginings to life -- including encounters with beings from other planets and catching her mom in curlers and a green facial mask, which seems to confirm her identity as Mamá the Alien.

Sophia's dad finally explains that an "alien" in English can mean someone from another country and that her mama's current ID car says "Permanent Resident "at the top. And the climax of the story is Mama's ceremony to become a U.S. citizen. An author's note explains the history of the two kinds of cards-- alien and resident -- and reflects his own experience coming to th United States from El Salvador in 1985 and becoming a citizen. Many immigrant families will find meaning in this cute story, and other families will gain some understanding of immigrants' path to citizenship.

Book Details

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