by Teresa A. Statler
y Mom Is a Foreigner, But Not to Me is a
delightful and colorful book for children
between the ages of 4 and 7 wrien by
Hollywood star Julianne Moore and beautifully
illustrated by Meilo So, a "foreign mom" herself.
e focus is on the foreign moms, their kids, and
their diﬀerent skin colors and ethnicities. Some of
the artwork is a bit stereotypical: the reader sees an
Asian mom with a China-doll haircut with her light-
skinned, blue-eyed daughter and an African-looking
mom wearing kente clothing and large earrings being
embraced by a boy of the same color. ere is an Indian
mom, and one wearing a Scandinavian-style sweater.
All the children appear happy and are clearly receiving
love and aﬀection from their mothers—whether their
skin colors are the same as their moms', or diﬀerent.
Along with the brightly colored illustrations of moms
and kids, Moore gives us a sweetly rhyming text. She
starts out by telling us that "My Mom is a foreigner,
she's from another place. She came when she was ten
years old, with only one suitcase." Cheerful, interior
home scenes with obviously
"foreign" art, such as cuckoo
clocks, German-language wall
hangings, and kimonos hanging
in a closet, are meant to show
children that "foreign" is not really
exotic. In a scene with an Italian
mom and grandmother making
pasta with a machine, the narrator
tells us, "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." e admiring child in this
illustration also is viewing some
interesting-looking foods, such as
squid, eggplant, and a plate of cheeses.
e book tells children that foreign moms and their
kids may celebrate diﬀerent holidays. e centerpiece
of the book contains a colorful quiz, asking readers
to match a holiday drawing with its corresponding
"festival." ese include Day of the Dead, St. Lucia Day,
Kwanzaa, and the Chinese New Year.
Young readers (and their parents) are sure to relate to
this heartwarming book, full of children of all colors
and ethnicities doing things with their prey "foreign
Moms" that other children and mothers do. e
book ends on a happy note: "She might seem kind of
diﬀerent, and you'd be right I guess, but compared to
other Moms, I know that she's the best."
TERESA A. STATLER practices family-based immigration
law, asylum, and removal defense in Portland, OR.
My Mom Is a Foreigner, But Not to Me
My Mom Is a
Not to Me
The Badmus Law Firm has merged with the Dallas law
ﬁrm, Cowles & Thompson. ANN MASSEY BADMUS
is now shareholder and head of its newly formed
immigration practice section. ANGELA M. LOPEZ
has joined the ﬁrm as shareholder, and KATRINA
M. MOORE and THU NGUYEN as associates. All are
Texas Chapter members.
Central Florida Chapter member ELIZABETH M. RICCI
is writing a column called "American by Choice," in
Tallahasee Reports, in which she interviews local
immigrants about their contributions to the community.
Her ﬁrst proﬁle was published in March 2014.
Drawing a Line
in the Sand