Book Reviews

Beautifully written and illustrated, Macka's Barrel weaves together the story of a young boy's journey [across Australia for his first surf], Aboriginal dreamtime imagery and an environmental message.

All time!

Pro surfer and kids' author aren't often terms you find in close proximity, but Adrian "son of a school teacher" Buchan is doing his best to throw a few stereotypes out the window by publishing his first book, Macka's Barrel Into The Dreamtime.

Based on a school assignment Ace did fifteen years ago, Macka's Barrel is the tale of a little kid from the bush who goes walkabout.

Macka sees first-hand the negative effects society is having on Australia's environment, and along with his new friend, Aboriginal boy Yagoona, and his dog Bluey is inspired to try and seek change.

The boys make it to the coast, where they surf with nature and the Aboriginal spirit Djalapalapa, who leaves them with some profound words on their place in the world.

If you surf and have groms there's no reason why you shouldn't get a copy of Bucho's book. Beautifully illustrated by fellow Avoca boardrider Anthony Williams, Adrian's words are touching, and there's nothing like reading about cutbacks before bed to inspire your kids

"So Ace, you've written a book, Macka's Barrel into the Dreamtime, how did that come about?"

Well, it's funny actually. I was sitting at home the other day and my dad pulled out a manila folder that had the original copy of Macka's Adventure that I'd written in year 5 at Primary School for a creative writing assignment. That was when the idea was born...

View whole interview

Review by David Boutland

There are magical surprises out there on our local waves.

One is competitive world surfer and now children's author Adrian Buchan. Another is Surfer-illustrator Anthony Williams.

'Macka's Barrel into the Dreamtime' is described as a product of their love of the ocean and the environment. And how evident that love is!

This 'Journey in Magical Realism' is the story of a country boy whose family has reached a dead end. Australia is dying of drought and pollution, so young Macka takes off with Bluey his dog on a magical mission.

Beneath the Southern Cross, on a night as luminous as Van Gogh's Starry Night, the spirit of Djalapalapa brings Macka a guide, Yagoona, to lead him along the Dreamtime path to a secret surfing spot. Will learning to surf in this untouched wilderness inspire Macka to fight to save the land he loves?

Adrian Buchan has written a wonder-filled children's story which I hope ends up on the shelves of every primary school. Anthony Williams vivid and mystic illustrations splash off the pages live 3D waves.