Marshall Armstrong Is New to Our School by David Mackintosh
Marshall Armstrong is the new kid at school and he is very different from everyone else. His things are different. He looks different with his birdseed freckles and ears like shells. His arms are white with red bumps that he says are mosquito bites. He even eats “space food” for lunch! He can’t play during recess. He stays out of the sun. He doesn’t watch any TV. So when Marshall Armstrong has a birthday party, everyone is sure that it is going to be awful. But guess what, Marshall Armstrong’s house is different too! Different in some great ways!
Mackintosh has created a picture book that speaks to what makes someone different from the rest of the class. I really enjoyed the fact that while Marshall is different, so are all of the other kids in the class. This is not a homogenous student body, but even in a diverse group Marshall is certainly unique. Mackintosh reveals much in his illustrations which are quirky and modern, a striking mix of playful lines and bright colors.
The story is straight forward but also filled with humor. There are signals throughout that Marshall is a geeky kid (and I mean that in the best possible way, as mother to two geeks, married to another) and very modern. He may be in a class of more normal kids, but some of us more geeky parents will also see ourselves in Marshall, our stuff, our obsessions. It’s a lovely inside joke for those of us who were perpetually different like Marshall.
This picture book about being different takes the discussion beyond diversity and into a place where we are all different, just like Marshall. A great pick for sharing at the start of a new school year. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from library copy.