Review Blog

Oct 11 2019

The adventures of Anders by Gregory Mackay

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2019. ISBN: 9781760632076.
(Age: 7+) This large book contains the first three graphic novels about Anders and his friends, by author and illustrator Gregory Mackay celebrating friendship, adventure and creativity. In the first, Anders and the Comet Anders and his classmates are surprised when their teacher gives them a homework assignment for the school break. They have to write a report on their holiday activities. Anders, his cousin Eden and new mate Bernie enjoy family outings, visiting the zoo and a carnival, exploring the local park, playing video games and play and craft activities. They make bows and arrows, build a box cubby, imagine they are in far off lands and have adventures with the Green Grabber. 

The second in this compendium is Anders and the Volcano, which has the three friends camping near an extinct volcano. When a new friend, Veronica, joins them with her own flying beetle, Bernie is reluctant to try, and all seems to go well until they find themselves in a tricky situation.
The third in this collection, Anders and the Castle has mass appeal once again, pitting the friends again in a tricky situation they must join their talents to find a solution. While reading this funny tale of survival, readers will learn a great deal about castles, as Mackay illustrates various components of castles, explaining what each is used for. Keeps, moats, castle walls, drawbridges, cellars, lots of winding staircases and battlements all figure within this graphic novel to intrigue and inform the readers.
Anders is a positive role model of how to support, interact and build friendships. He accepts his friends and their choices they make without hesitation. He is inclusive and encourages new friendships with the people he meets wherever the friends go. The full colour graphic novel incorporates explicit learning with information given to the readers in all three stories, about comet, volcanoes and castles. The three stories are broken up into chapters and presents an easy read for younger readers who are just beginning the journey into graphic novels.
Fran Knight, Rhyllis Bignell and Annette Mesecke

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