The truth is out there…but will Dana and Fox find it?
Young Dana and Fox are camping out in the backyard. Just as Dana finishes reading from a book called The X-Files, there’s a blinding light outside their tent. The kids investigate, but it’s only the floodlight. Fox sees a terrifying alien-shaped shadow…but it’s just Buster the dog trying to get a squirrel. Giant footprint? Dana explains it’s the start of a new swimming pool. A horrifying sound from beyond the fence? The duo investigates the dark woods with Buster and discover it’s just an old tire swing and an owl. Dana assures Fox that UFO talk is “crazy” talk, but neither sees the crashed flying saucer in the shadows or the giant, reptilian ET following them down the path. Back at the tent, they unzip the flap and find two tiny green ETs reading their books! The two white, human kids scream and run inside, while the two green extraterrestrial kids scream and run for the woods. Dana and Fox run up the stairs past parents watching TV…but are those really Dana’s parents? Rekulak’s envisioned sleepover between the two future paranormal investigators is impossible in the mythos of The X-Files, as Mulder and Scully didn’t meet until adulthood, a liberty that may well drive the adult fans who are the natural audience for this book up the wall. Smith’s digitally created, enticingly spooky cartoon illustrations help to tell the story, the text of which is set entirely in speech bubbles (the ET script is an amusing touch). Kids won’t know the characters’ back story (front story?) and fans may balk, but the tale, familiar in its broad outlines, may still entertain.
Even the branding may not be enough to entice readers. (Picture book. 4-8)