Award-winning Australian author Favel Parrett addresses the negative reputation of Australia’s native dingo in a beautifully written story of heart-ache, loss and hope.
High up in the mountains, a young alpine dingo cub lived a happy life learning the ways of the world from his mama and papa. One day disaster struck, picked up by an eagle and deposited in a garden the young cub was injured and alone.
Unlike the humans that his papa had warned him about, the one to find him was kind and caring. Whilst the cub dearly missed his family and his mountain home, a new life beckoned, a life that would make him the most famous dingo in the world…
Based on true events, Favel Parrett’s first book for children is a heart-warming, up-lifting and inspiring story that is set to become a future classic that will be cherished by animal-lovers young and old. Wandi stole my heart and he will steal yours too, you’ll be left wanting to do everything you can to help protect these amazing animals. I have never seen a dingo but I immediately felt strongly about their plight and will definitely be visiting a sanctuary and doing what I can to help their cause.
Told through the eyes of Wandi and complimented with black and white line illustrations, emotions run high as the brave little pup is separated from his family, comes face to face with the humans that his papa has warned him to avoid at all costs before finally making his way to the sanctuary where he becomes the poster boy for the dingo cause. Whilst Wandi may not be a human, many of his feelings and struggles are relatable; his fear, his feeling of helplessness, his longing for a family, his desire to fit in. We all need a tribe, to feel part of something, to belong.
Parrett does more than just deliver a cracking page-turner; she tackles misconceptions, exposes the danger that humans pose to these beautiful creatures and asks us all to reflect on our relationship with this misunderstood and sometimes ostracised animal. The remarkable appearance of Wandi proved that alpine dingoes still exist in the wild and since arriving at the sanctuary he has been able to help humans better understand how intelligent and gentle dingoes actually are, and the essential role that they play in keeping the eco-systems of Australia in balance. Plenty of additional content including a Q & A with the author and notes from Kevin D Newman - ‘Wandi’s very good human friend’ - shed further light on much of this.
You don’t have to just take it from me when I say that Wandi is an absolute star. He has his own Instagram page - @wandi_dingo - with over fifty-seven-thousand followers and he has been visited by television crews and people from all over the world who have been captivated by his story. And if you want to pay a visit to see the most unlikeliest of celebrities, then you can find him located at the Dingo Discovery Sanctuary in Toolern Vale, Victoria.
Stories like Wandi’s need to be shared. Currently listed as ‘vulnerable to extinction’, Australian’s need to show as much love towards dingoes as they do towards other native species and I can only hope that Parrett’s story will inspire future generations of dingo advocates.
With huge thanks to Hachette and Lothian Children's Books for this wonderful animal story.
Recommended for 7+.