Parents' Guide to

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: The Classic Illustrated Storybook

By Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Condensed telling of movie misses some of the magic.

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This condensed telling of the story that's laid out in the movie is a mild adventure that should please little kids, but it's no match for the film version. Plot points that are super tense in the movie unfold kind of flatly in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: The Classic Illustrated Storybook. The scientists' nail-biting pursuit of E.T., for example, comes off rather plainly: "Michael's friends brought their bikes, and they all raced to the woods. The scientists chased them!" There's mention that E.T. is starting to feel sick, but this version skips the part after he's captured when he's so sick that his life is in danger, and Elliott gets sick, too, because of their mysterious connection. And the surprising, magical film moment when E.T. and the boys on bikes are lifted up in the sky loses its magic on the page.

But Kim Smith's illustrations are fun and friendly, and space-loving young kids should enjoy the ride. Warning: The book is a spoiler for those who haven't seen the movie yet.

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