The X-Files: Earth Children Are Weird

Illus. by Kim Smith. Quirk, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-59474-979-7
If Muppet Babies is making a comeback, why not Mulder and Scully rebooted as kids? In this picture book riff on The X-Files, Fox and Dana are best buddies having a backyard campout, fulfilling the same roles they did in the cult TV series: Fox thinks aliens are everywhere, and Dana’s quick to debunk (a “terrifying shadow” is actually the family dog, etc.). Smith, who previously adapted Home Alone into a picture book, gives her pictures the energy and framings of TV animation, and she believably evokes actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as children, particularly where their characters’ distinctive hairstyle are concerned. In Fox’s defense, aliens do turn up—sharp readers will note the UFO hovering in the sky on the book’s title spread. But adult X-Files fans hoping to get their offspring hooked may be disappointed: the dialogue is standard issue, and the big closing twist is little more than the narrative equivalent of “Boo!” If there is indeed a version of The X-Files for kids that captures the spirit of the show, it’s still out there. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2017
Release date: 08/29/2017
Genre: Children's
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