Alax is an alien. And he’s here to learn about us.
On Thursday, the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department unveiled the first episode of “The Early Show with Alax,” an informational TV program featuring a fuzzy blue-and-green puppet named Alax – as in “galaxy” — as its host.
Screening to an audience of mostly adults gathered at the Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum of Albuquerque, the first episode featured home visitor Lily Hansen to discuss the importance and benefits of sleep, especially for babies.
Voiced and controlled by local puppeteer Devon Hawkes Ludlow, Alax is an “Intergalactic Ambassador of Care” who decided to come to Earth — specifically, the state of New Mexico, which he deemed “the cultural and scientific hub of the universe” — to learn about “the care and development of little ‘hu-mans.'”
“With ‘The Early Show, with Alax,’ (we) are reaching parents and getting them engaged in a way that also engages their little ones,” Cabinet Secretary for Early Childhood Education Elizabeth Groginsky said.
In talk-show style, Alax, at his desk, interviews Hansen, whom he teleported onto his ship, about her job as a home visitor, which involves visiting families with young ones and giving them tips and advice on raising them. She discusses the importance of rest for babies and how parents can make sure their baby is safe while they sleep.
Sommer Smith, the co-founder and creative director of MediaDesk, an advertising agency that partnered with the department, and an executive producer and writer of the show, said one of the important aspects of the show is reducing stigma around asking questions. In creating the show, Smith said the fact that Alax is an alien helps reduce this stigma.
“Alax doesn’t know anything about being human and can ask anything that he wants,” Smith said.
The next episode will be about “big feelings,” and the episodes will be available both in English and Spanish, according to Micah McCoy, the department’s director of communications. The show can be found at theearlyshow.org or on the Moments Together YouTube page.