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Wandi by Favel Parrett

Title: Wandi

A blue cover with a dingo on it.

Author: Favel Parrett

Genre: Contemporary

Publisher: Hachette

Published: 29th September 2021

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 140

Price: $19.99

Synopsis: A dingo cub is snatched from his family and home by a giant eagle, then dropped, injured and alone, in a suburban backyard. This is the beautifully woven story of Wandi, the most famous dingo in the world. Told with wonder and heart by one of Australia’s most beloved storytellers. A classic in the tradition of Storm Boy and The Call of the Wild.

A young cub is snatched from his family and home by a giant eagle, then dropped, injured and alone, in a suburban garden. This is where he meets his first Human and begins his long journey to becoming the most famous dingo in the world. He will never see his mountain home again, or his family. But it is his destiny to save alpine dingoes from extinction, and he dreams of a time when all cubs like him can live in the wild in safety, instead of facing poison and bullets and hatred.

A children’s literary classic in-the-making from one of Australia’s most-loved authors.

~*~

Little One, an alpine dingo in Victoria, is snatched from his family by an eagle. Soon, he is dropped in a garden, and a Human takes him to the vet, and from there, he goes to a dingo sanctuary for alpine dingoes.  Wandi is a very famous dingo, and Favel Parrett’s first novel for children tells his story – through the eyes of Wandi himself. The voice of the wild shines through as Wandi explores his new world and remembers his life in the wild. He has a new destiny at the sanctuary, though he doesn’t realise it. Wandi – the one destined to save other alpine dingoes from poison, bullets, and hatred. Wandi, a symbol of a beautiful creature just trying to live the way they always have.

Wandi’s story follows a tradition of animal stories filled with spirit and hope such as Call of the Wild and Storm Boy – a celebration of the wild, and the animals that populate the environment that we have tried to tame, and that thrive and live where they can. It is a testament, a celebration of dingoes – a unique and special Australian native animal – simply not a dog, but something unique to our country, and our nation’s long identity of many thousands of years. Wandi celebrates the importance of caring for the environment, and the role that all animals in Australia, including the precious dingo, play in maintaining the delicate ecological balance.

Favel’s notes at the back from the sanctuary supervisor where Wandi lives now points out that dingoes need help and that even though they are important to our environment, they’re not as valued as other animals are. Stories like Wandi’s are important to show us what dingoes mean to Australia in so many ways, and to highlight their plight, and that we should put as much energy into protecting them as we do for koalas, tigers, and elephants – that all animals have their place in the world. Wandi’s story evokes a sense of wonder and discovery, as well as going into what we can do to help the dingo in Australia.

Wandi is a touching story filled with hope as a little dingo loses his home, meets humans, and discovers that not all humans are the same – and faces a new world where he will become the key to saving the alpine dingo. It is a lovely little story, aimed at readers aged eight and older, and is gentle, yet evokes a serious tone that suggests we have a lot to think about when it comes to dingoes, sanctuaries and wildlife, and shows that everyone can make a difference, even if it just a small one, to the lives of these beautiful creatures we have in Australia.

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