A picture-book adaptation of the iconic E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Simplified. Very.
For readers who fell through the time-space fabric of earthly life after 1982, this near goo-goo rendering for the young will provide the basics, if not the poignancy and power of “alien” affection, of the famous movie. The narrative adaptation is pared down to the bone but operates fairly smoothly, while the artwork offers some fine comic scenes, such as E.T. hiding among a pile of stuffed animals and E.T.’s various disguises. All the child characters have E.T.–size eyes, and although their heads are round, they are also as exaggeratedly large in proportion to their bodies as their alien friend’s. The basic plot is here, but the emphasis is on getting E.T. away from the bad guys, who don’t look nearly bad enough—though when they finally catch E.T. and put him in the coffinlike box, it’s pretty creepy. The flat, affect-free narration underplays the movie’s take on the magic of friendship, no matter how peculiar the “other,” and Elliott’s gesture of love in helping his friend return home is reduced to plot points. As in the film, principal characters are white, though Smith places some people of color in background roles.
OK, you’ve read the SparkNotes, now it is time to see the movie. (Picture book. 3-6)