'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 6 March 2011

Review: Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School

I have a new favourite book!

From its whimsical illustrations and retro feel to its quirky character and tone, Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School is one of those books you file under K. K for Keeper.

When Marshall Armstrong joins our narrator's school, it's made clear he looks different. His things are different. His ear looks like a shell. His laces are straight, not criss-crossed. His eyes are always looking to the front of the class.
Yes, he is different. And this makes our narrator a little uncomfortable. In fact, our narrator takes great pains to make it clear that Marshall Armstrong just does NOT fit in.

That is - until the entire class is invited to his birthday party . . . at his totally cool house, with totally cool things abounding.

Surprise surprise.

I love the language used in this book. I love the colours. I love the graphics, the design, layout and crayon-like lines scooting around, up and down. I love the sophisticated take author/illustrator Mackintosh has made on his childlike prose and imagery - and I love the subtle messaging about how we should not judge a book by its cover.

And of course - how wonderful it is to be different.

Title: Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School
Author/Illustrator: David Mackintosh
Publisher: HarperCollins $24.99 RRP
Publication date: March 2011
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9780007361410
For ages: 3 - 12
Type: Picture Book