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My Mom Is a Foreigner, But Not to Me Hardcover – August 27, 2013


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My Mom Is a Foreigner, But Not to Me + Freckleface Strawberry + Freckleface Strawberry: Best Friends Forever
Price for all three: $39.94

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (August 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452107920
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452107929
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.5 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #607,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2-Children from many cultures express their feelings about having a mother born in a different country in this confusing attempt to celebrate the immigrant experience. Moore does capture the internal conflict youngsters feel about having a parent who is different; some of the kids love the funny kinds of foods they eat and know all of the parts of the foreign songs their moms sing, while others find the food gross and the strange customs and nicknames embarrassing. Told in a clumsy verse with forced rhymes and an awkward meter, this story unfortunately falls flat. "She talks a little funny./She has an accent: it is French!/She had to learn a new language here/Because her words weren't making sense." Changes in font are distracting and introduce contradictory thoughts in the same paragraph. "We eat funny kinds of foods sometimes./I love it./It tastes gross./My Grandma made it, she taught my Mom./I put it on my toast!" So's bright watercolor illustrations, while full of multicultural characters and ethnic details, do little to clarify the speakers or complement the text. The concept is heartfelt but the author attempts to cover too many details and emotions.-Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journal. LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"A vividly illustrated book that celebrates different cultures in our diverse world."--SheKnows.com

More About the Author

JULIANNE MOORE is a four-time Academy Award-nominated actor as well as the New York Times bestselling author of two previous books about Freckleface Strawberry, who is also the subject of an off-Broadway musical. Photograph by Peter Lindbergh.

Customer Reviews

The story is adorable, but the illustrations are really beautiful.
OpheliasOwn
I got the feeling from this book that the author is looking at the mother askance and trying to figure how she could parent a child born in the US.
Lynn Ellingwood
Also, I would not suggest introducing this book to kids BEFORE they have issues with feeling different about ethnicity.
Celeste

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By E. Burton VINE VOICE on December 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was excited about this book because I work with internationals and I thought this might be something interesting to use with their children. I read this, along with my two daughters-in-law--one also works with internationals and the other grew up as the daughter of parents who came to this country just before she was born. We unanimously felt uncomfortable with the book, and my daughter-in-law, whose experience this supposedly describes, declared it offensive.

To be more specific about our objections: this book is written for children. Children feel very comfortable with their homes and families and don't think of them as weird or uncool until others tease them or express that sentiment. This book introduces this sentiment before it may have been encountered, and expresses it as coming from the child rather than originating externally. Instead of introducing the idea of mom or the food she fixes as being different or "weird" or "gross" (words from the book), how about cultivating an interest and appreciation of the richness of cultural diversity?

Also, I found the use of different fonts very confusing. Toward the end of the book, I realized that perhaps the different fonts indicated different children. But how does one convey this with a book meant to be read aloud?

Finally the illustrations were confusing. Were all the children from mixed marriages? A Japanese mom with a blond haired daughter. Dark skinned children with light skinned mothers. Light skinned children with dark skinned mothers. All the children wore Western dress. Many, many children come from homes where they continue to dress in ethnic clothing and look very much like their parents. What about those children?

I had such high hopes for this book. A book about children growing up in immigrant homes has the potential to encourage enjoyment of cultural diversity and would be quite useful in many homes and classrooms, but this is not that book. Not recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Citizen John TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The book has a good idea. It struggles with being politically correct at times, and that may have been inevitable.

With our moms from other countries, there's nothing strange about it. It may be different for my kids than for others, but they had never thought of it much even though our moms speak languages from other parts of the world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Chou on December 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It is the 21st Century, more and more people have learned to live peacefully with one another despite ethnic and cultural differences. Well known actress, Julianne Moore, has based this children's book on her mom, an immigrant from Scotland to the U.S.

Likes:
*Written in simple rhymes that are fun for kids to read along.
*Wonderfully illustrated by Meilo So with a wide variety of colorful ethnic dress, foods, and holidays.
*Teaches children how to say, "I love you, mom!" in Italian, Chinese, English, German, French, and Japanese.

Concerns:
*My young nieces, ages three and four, were very inquisitive about the meaning of this book. Their questions were answered by mom (my sister) in a way that they understood.
*What is a foreigner? People who came to the U.S. from another country but we usually call them immigrants.
*Why do the moms look different from the kids? The mom's race is different than the dad's, or she could be a step-mom/recent immigrant, or the kids could have been adopted, etc..
*Some of the pictures and words such as ethnic foods tasting "gross" with a kid holding her nose, or ethnic clothing described as "weirder" may seem offensive to some, but I think the author is just trying to make words rhyme and use language and actions younger kids are familiar with.
*This book would be more appropriate if titled, "My Grandma is a foreigner, but not to me." because older generation immigrants (grandmas) are more likely to maintain traditional cultures while younger generations (moms) quickly adapt to American/western cultures and lose their cultural roots.

Overall:
*There are many ways a parent/guardian can interpret the stories in this book and explain it to their kids.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Ellingwood VINE VOICE on December 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love Julianne Moore and her acting, this is the first book I've read of hers, she is apparently the author ambassador for Save the Children. A young girl is narrating the story and says her mother is a foreigner which isn't a term kids use or know and that mom came over on a BOAT? How often has that happened in the last 50 years? As a teacher of ESOL students, kids accept their parents ways and it isn't just about being polite but about a way of life that kids have also lived with since being a toddler. Yes they do object to some ways that look funny especially in front of other kids. What I found disturbing is the idea that the child would be considered not to know the parent's language yet the book claims the kid's mother teaches her to read and listens to her stories and laughs at her jokes. While there is some acknowledgement that mother understands some English. There is little to nothing to acknowledge that the little girl knows her mom's language, might be taught to read in that language or that the girl needs help from others to learn English and to read in English because her mom can't do it all. I got the feeling from this book that the author is looking at the mother askance and trying to figure how she could parent a child born in the US. I found that insulting to the very people Moore is writing about and wonder if she had problems dealing with her British heritage mom.
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