Tuesday 15 June 2021

Macca the Backpacker

Macca the Backpacker by Matt Cosgrove (Scholastic Australia) PB HB RRP $24.95 ISBN 978 1 760978464                                   

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

Macca is back and this time he is a backpacker who dreams of exploring. One glorious day he sets off on a quest to seek the highest mountain peak. Behind each step in his mind is the support of his crew who with their unique gifts will help him succeed.


Matt Cosgrove is on fire with this fun, quirky series. Macca the Backpacker is the eighth book in the Macca series. As Macca explores and seeks adventure, he recognises and values the qualities his friends bring to their friendship.


Cosgrove, with simplicity of words and rhyme, has created a rollicking great read aloud book. It cleverly brings in techniques that teach resilience and positive thinking. He uses well known lines that enhance the reading of the story for both the adult and child reader. He sang, ‘The hills are alive…’ The quality of this book is sure to make it a hit. Not only is it fun but it shows Macca’s development as a character. Another smart technique is the use of bold print for certain words throughout the story to emphasise their meaning and importance. The page turns entice the reader to the next page. Soon enough the going got tough. Matt leaves us all guessing what the next book in the Macca series might be.


The book’s illustrations are full of character movement and expression that support the text beautifully. Cosgrove is a master at visual storytelling, and much like a movie strip, we follow Macca along on his quest. I loved how Cosgrove drew each friend as an outline when Macca was thinking about them to help him on his climb. They were a visual representation of mind-speaking. The use of bright and happy colours is perfect for this sort of book and the selfie shots are on trend and relatable. The endpapers clearly show that Macca’s quest is to climb a mountain and the patterning is very effective. This book could well become the new Macca favourite of many.


Macca the Backpacker is a picture book that is perfect for readers aged 4-8 years; it appeals not only to kids, but parents, too. This book is easy to read aloud, engaging, and has layers of meaning but most of all it is fun. Macca has become a friend to many child readers, and they will delight in sharing his new adventure with him.

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