BLOGMAS DAY 15: Review – Macca’s Christmas Crackers by Matt Cosgrove

Published: 1st October 2018

Publisher: Koala Books (an imprint of Scholastic Australia)

Pages: 24

Format: Hardback Picture book (borrowed from the library)

RRP: $17.99

4/5 Stars

Christmas is here! Christmas is Macca’s favourite time of year. He loves thinking up amazing presents for his friends. But when he looks in his piggy bank, he finds he has no money! Macca and his best friend Al have to come up with a plan to make the best Christmas surprise for all their friends, and in doing so, discover the true spirit of giving.


Christmas is here! The BEST time of the year!

Macca’s Christmas Crackers by Matt Cosgrove is the fourth book in the popular Macca the Alpaca picture book series. While it may have been released in 2018, this book is still widely popular and a gentle reminder of what the festive seasons should be about.

Macca often confessed

he was Christmas OBSESSED!

Macca’s Christmas Crackers is an all too familiar tale. Filled with love, joy and the need to spoil his friends, Macca is planning the most elaborate and perfect gifts for his loved ones this Christmas.

But what Macca loved best

of the whole Christmas-fest,

was his reason for living

the spirit of giving!

After decorating everything, he starts writing his shopping list only to discover he has no money and can’t afford any of it.  What follows is a poignant, but gentle reminder that it’s not the gifts that make this the season of giving so amazing, it’s the people we choose to spend time with and the smaller moments we share with them that make Christmas so perfect.

Matt Cosgrove is a brilliant author and stand-out illustrator. His work is not only popular with the children, but adults alike flock to each of Macca’s adventures just as regularly. Macca’s stories, in particular, are loud, bold and so quirky that they keep the reader coming back time and time again. His characters experience such universal  (and yet strangely specific) issues that we can all see a bit of ourselves and someone we know within the pages.

Cosgrove’s writing is simple and to the point. Told through rhyme, he uses no more than four sentences to a page, with most consisting of one-to-two lines. This makes the narrative not only catchy and familiar, but it brings a quirky quality to his writing, that combined with Maccas personality, makes the narrative a little edgie and unpredictable.

Cosgrove’s writing is fantastic, but his illustrations are seriously next level. While the text lays out the bare bones, Cosgrove’s illustration fills it in and tells the story. Through his illustrations, we glimpse the characters personalities and expressions in a way that the story does not allow us to. We are able to see the emotion and heart of each character, to understand their motivations and capture their logic.

I personally love the use of bright Christmas colours in this book and the alternating use of full colour and white backgrounds so that the reader is not lost in the colour. The endpapers themselves are exquisite and I would totally buy them as wrapping paper if I could!

Macca’s Christmas Crackers is perhaps one of the most entertaining, but resourceful, Christmas books I’ve read this year. As everyone rushes around doing last-minute Christmas shopping and we send ourselves broke in order to gift the PERFECT present for our loved ones, Macca is reminding everyone gently that Christmas isn’t about the most elaborate and expensive gifts.

I highly recommend this picture book for readers young and old. We all deserve a bit of good fashioned old Christmas cheer!


To purchase a copy of Macca’s Christmas Crackers, visit the following online retailers:

Amazon AUS | Amazon US | Booktopia | Book Depository | Dymocks  | QBD |

To learn more about Matt Cosgrove, visit the following social media pages:

Matt Cosgrove’s website | Facebook | Instagram |Twitter | Youtube |


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