My Mommy is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill

by Jean Regnaud and Émile Bravo

Publisher: Fanfare/Ponent Mon

Format: Hardcover, 7x9, full color, $25.00

ISBN: 978-84-96427-85-3

Reviewed by: Publishers Weekly

Regnaud recalls his kindergarten years in France in this cute but never saccharine semi-autobiography. Jean's father is the boss at a factory, and, according to the adults in Jean's life, his mother is away on a long trip. Jean's next-door neighbor, a mischievous little girl, begins secretly reading humorous postcards from "mom" to Jean. Jean wants to believe the (clearly fabricated) postcards are true, and he is beginning to forget his mother's face. It's difficult to say if the book is appropriate for younger readers or if the ending—where the truth of the mother's status is revealed—would upset them. The sweet sadness of the five-year-old's point of view is best appreciated by adults. Bravo's attractive artwork solidly carries the story forward. However, the text is laid out primarily in narration boxes rather than dialogue balloons. The panels are usually borderless, and coupled with the narration, the book feels more like a hybrid picture book than a graphic novel. My Mommy won several awards in France, including a 2008 Literary Tam Tam Award and a 2008 Essentials Award in Angoulême.