Friday, June 20, 2014

Standing In For Lincoln Green by David Mackintosh

Standing In For Lincoln Green by David Mackintosh

Rating: 4 stars

Oh to figure out how to do what Lincoln Green does in this book: to be two places at once!

Lincoln Green figures out a way to pull his reflection out of the mirror and make him--by "him" I mean his reflection, the second Lincoln Green, his willing impersonator--do all of the things that fall into the category of "things that need to happen RIGHT NOW."  You know, all of those things that you want to do for your child because you'll do it faster, better and without complaining (though that pesky resentment might build a bit more) but they should do for themselves…  Lincoln Green figures out a way to get those things done for him so that he can spend all of his time swimming at the pool, hanging out with his buddies, and swinging on ropes.

So that's just what he does--his stand-in works while he plays.  Not bad!  Life goes along like this for quite some time, until the stand-in/reflection Lincoln Green gets invited by the neighbor boy to build a tree house with him.  Suddenly, he realizes anything involving a tree house is more fun than raking the leaves and mowing the lawn.  He's IN!

So the real Lincoln Green is pulled by his mom from all that fun stuff and approaches the lawn with trepidation.  But the neighborhood boy comes by and, with his help, they make a game of it, get it done quickly, then play afterwards together.

Definitely a creative, fun story (with a mom-approved lesson: chores can be FUN!) that got my kids thinking about what two places they'd like to be at the same time.  As their mom--of three--this wistful thinking is not new to me.  MAN could I accomplish a lot!  My to-do list would be no match for me and ME!  The four of us had a fun conversation after reading this a few days ago at dinner…alas, we haven't found a way to lure our reflections to do anything but reflect.  Yet.

What I really appreciate about writer and illustrator David Mackintosh is that each time we read a book by him (we are big fans of Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School) we get a healthy dose of fun, new vocabulary words.  Born in Belfast, raised in Australia, now residing in the UK, his vocabulary is wonderfully different from mine.  In Standing In For Lincoln Green my kids learned/were introduced to these fun, colorful words and expressions:

  • stand-in
  • sorting out
  • handy
  • shoot the breeze
  • fizzy sarsaparilla (those two words just go together!)
  • fancy (as in "anything he doesn't fancy doing himself is on a list for...")

And what more is reading and writing than stringing together a bunch of fun words into an interesting story?  This is what David Mackintosh has done…again.  We can't wait to read Lucky when it comes out at the end of the summer (2014)!

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