A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
My Mom is a Foreigner, But Not to Me offers opportunity to discuss how people get here from other countries and what it means to be a foreigner with different customs. Kids can also learn words for mother, special nicknames, and ways to say "I love you" in other languages. The book has a page for matching symbols with the names of a few special holidays and festivals from around the world.
We may all be different in some ways, but in important ways we are the same. No matter where your mom is from, and how different she may be, she's the one person who loves you the best.
Positive Role Models
All of the moms and kids look happy and loving, and they are accepting of each other even though they notice one another's differences. Each kid loves his or her mother the best in spite of the strange, embarrassing things she does.
None of the language is inappropriate in any way.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents should know that My Mom Is a Foreigner, But Not to Me by Julianne Moore is one of a handful of books written for young kids about multicultural family relationships. In this story, immigrant moms talk and dress differently, use strange words, etc., and kids find some of those things embarrassing. From an assortment of countries, all these moms are a bit different, yet they are all the same when it comes to doing all the special mom-things. When different kids speak, their words are shown in different fonts, and that is confusing at first reading, but once readers get that, the book comes alive. And, the overriding lesson is one of love and acceptance.
Is It Any Good?
The sentiment is sweet and loving, and Meilo So's vivid watercolor-and-ink illustrations add a pleasant softness and vivid ethnic beauty to the narrative. When read aloud slowly, with time taken to look closely at the pictures, the gentle message accurately captures the tug kids of immigrant parents must feel as they adjust to the world around them. Author Julianne Moore is talking here from her own experience, so she should know. However, on first read, knowing who is speaking is a bit confusing. Different fonts are used to indicate different children and none of them is ever really identified or matched together. Also, the rhyming verse is awkward and strained at times, and that detracts from the story.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.