Thursday, 21 July 2011

Marshall Armstrong Is new to Our school by David Mackinstosh

Marshall Armstrong is new to school and definitely stands out from the crowd, with his pale skin, perpetual hats, and special “space food” lunches that come in silver wrappers. He doesn’t play sports, and he doesn’t watch television. So when he invites everyone in class over for his birthday party, it’s sure to be a disaster. Or is it? Marshall Armstrong might have a trick or two up his long, “sun protective” sleeve. (From

This is a beautiful hardback book, although the thick paper outer cover maybe isn't such a great idea for very young children, I imagine it will get tatty very soon and would easily tear...sadly the hardback underneath doesn't have the same cover and is a bit plain. The paper back edition is released this month and may be worth considering! 

The story is lovely and unique. It's fun to read but also has a great message about being different...that it's ok and quite cool.  It also reminds us that we shouldn't judge people on appearances, as they can be deceptive. I love how David Mackintosh gets the anxious voice of a young child facing someone different and new perfectly, and how he eventually overcomes this without being too complex. The language is suitable for children ages 3 up who will enjoy having the story read to them and is perfect for older readers who are just learning. My 6 year old managed this quite easily with only a few words to challenge her. The illustrations (also by David Mackintosh) are also quirky and entertaining with plenty to look at and amuse. 

Apart from the delicate cover, this is a lovely book which comes recommended by myself and daughter. 


  1. My 3YO loves Dandylion by Lizzie Finlay, a great little picture book about embracing differences. We also enjoy Freddie and the Fairy by the queen of picture books Julia Donaldson.

  2. Oh I love Dandylion - got that from the library. Thanks for the recommendations, Caroline.