I was lucky enough to receive this beautiful advanced copy of Wandi from Hachette and instantly fell in love. Based on the true story, Wandi will both make you both question the cruelty of humans and restore your faith in people who selflessly care for abandoned animals like Wandi to protect their species and help prevent extinction.
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Genre: Children’s books
Published on: 29 September 2021
Pages: 140 (hardback)
Published by: Hachette Australia
|Plot/narrative||Writing style||Characters||Diverse themes||Ending||Overall|
Not just a dingo
Wandi tells the real-life story of a dingo who was snatched from his home in the mountains by an eagle and dropped in a human’s garden. At a very young age, he is torn from his family and left to fend for himself in a place where horrors lurk at every corner. Discovered by a kind human, Wandi is transferred to a sanctuary where he tries to assimilate with the other dingoes but struggles to make friends. That is, until he meets Hermione – the rest, as they say, is history.
Written from the heart
At the back of the book, there is a Q&A with the author, Favel, who tells of her personal journey in the dingo sanctuary where she volunteers. She has witnessed Wandi’s growth and has seen first-hand his personality, his pain, and his new-found happiness with Hermione and the other dingoes. Favel’s emotionally-driven words and experience gave the story even more authenticity and power, making the reader see the book as more than just a sweet story about a dingo.
The accompanying illustrations also beautifully complement the story, bringing Wandi to life in another dimension.
A story with multiple interpretations
After reading Wandi, I realised that the book serves more than one purpose; for starters, it narrates a beautiful and heartbreaking tale about a dingo destined to save his alpine species for extinction.
Secondly, it strikes many a similarity to First Nations people who, after living in peace on their land, were hunted, mistrusted, and taken from their families by invaders. The subtle references make you think more deeply about the meaning behind the words.
Thirdly, it raises awareness about how endangered dingoes are, due to baiting, trapping, and shooting. I felt their persecution so deep in my heart purely from this story, having never seen a dingo in real life. It has made me want to visit a sanctuary or do something to keep them safe.
The one part that really resonated with me is that most people think dingoes are just a type of dog so they don’t find them as fascinating or cute as other animals in the Australian wilderness (like koalas or kangaroos) and therefore don’t pay them much heed. Well, my eyes have officially been opened and it’s all thanks to Wandi, Favel Parrett, and Kevin D. Newman who shared some thought-provoking FAQs at the end of the story.
Thank you so much to Hachette for sending me a copy of Wandi to review. I will certainly do my part in spreading the dingo love 💙