Showing posts with label David Mackintosh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Mackintosh. Show all posts

Monday, 1 October 2018

Waiting for Chicken Smith

Waiting for Chicken Smith by David Mackintosh (Little Hare Books) HB RRP $24.99 ISBN9781760501761

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

This story is set on a beach where a child stays in the same cabin every year with his family. Every year, the child’s friend Chicken Smith stays on the beach, too, with his dad and his dog, Jelly. But this year Chicken hasn’t arrived, and this is a worry because there’s lots of usual things to do with him – ride bikes, share milkshakes, walk to the lighthouse with sandwiches and hunt for whales through Chicken’s binoculars.

There’s so much that the narrator and Chicken have shared in the past. But now Chicken’s cabin looks different – the windows are shut; the grass is long, and Chicken’s bike is missing. The boy’s sister urges him to go to the cliff-top with her while he’s waiting, and there, for the first time, the boy sees a whale. Without his holiday friend, the boy and his sister, Mary Ann (named on the last page) get to spend time together, possibly for the first time while on holidays.

The illustrations in this book by Australian author and illustrator, David Mackintosh, are dramatic and wonderful, from pencil drawings to silhouetted shapes (such as a bicycle frame and a lighthouse on a cliff with a red wash and golden moon). Every page rewards the reader with astonishing pictures that immerse one and make one want to be creative, too.

This is a stunning book which evokes so much of the temporary and often intense friendships children make in their lives. It is not usual to have a story about the end of such a holiday friendship, but the author/illustrator celebrates it and shows the reader that sometimes, though friendships end, there are always happy memories. And new experiences to be had. This book is highly recommended for readers 5 to 8 years.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School

Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School by David Mackintosh (HarperCollins)
HB RRP $24.99
ISBN 9780007361410
Reviewed by Sharon McGuinness

Marshall Armstrong is new to our school. He is different to me... His things are different to mine”

David Mackintosh’s new picture book explores the viewpoint of a child who is unimpressed that he must sit next to the new student in class. Immediately, the unnamed child makes some assumptions about Marshall, based on what he looks like, his belongings and his behaviour at school and decides that:“Marshall Armstrong doesn't fit in at our school.”

Through Mackintosh’s quirky illustrations and engaging story, we understand how it feels to be different  - to stand out and not be accepted. Marshall may often be alone, but he does not appear to be lonely. He accepts his differences, even seeming to celebrate them. We develop the impression that Marshall is a strong character and he certainly does not conjure feelings of sympathy from the reader.

When Marshall invites the whole class to his birthday party, his classmate laments all the things he believes they won’t be allowed to do because Marshall eats different food, doesn’t play sport or has to stay in the shade. He expects everyone, especially himself will have a terrible time.This is the turning point in the book where Marshall is finally accepted for being himself.

Children and adults will all enjoy this latest book by Mackintosh, who has predominantly illustrated the work of others. I certainly hope he continues to write and illustrate as I believe this title will be an asset to any home or school library.