'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 25 October 2021

Review: Wandi

With Wandi, her first book for children, Favel Parrett has chosen a sensitive and moving real life story; the plight of the dingo, Australia’s native, wild Canid. 

It is specifically about a rare, beautiful and intelligent endangered alpine dingo, whom she followed on Instagram and came to love dearly.

Wandi is the smallest but smartest pup of his pack. His father teaches him awareness of the dangers that threaten their species. Two major ones are eagles and humans.

It is an eagle that lifts him from his home and carries him far away where cries for his mama cannot reach her. For some reason, the eagle drops him.

He is found frightened and starving by a human; the enemy.


He recalls his father’s words. Humans kill us and hang us on trees.

Taken to a vet who attends to his wounds inflicted by the eagle’s talons, Wandi is wanted and loved by the man who found and longs to keep him. The vet explains the needs of a dingo to be free and close to others of his kind.

First he is taken to a familiar scene. Dead dingoes hang on trees. Wandi is afraid that too, will be his fate. His loss and grief at being far from his family consumes him. But they move on.

He is taken to a sanctuary for dingoes. Wandi longs to make friends there; to fit in. But these are a different breed of dingo, so he is treated unkindly.

His aloneness does not last long, as life has a few surprises up its sleeve for the exquisite Wandi. He meets Hermione, another cub, and they become friends. Wandi is no longer without a place or home. Now he belongs to someone and someone belongs to him.

The sanctuary draws countless visitors with Wandi the main attraction. He is uncommon and special. They photograph and film him for programs around the world. Now he is important; looked at with new eyes.

Within this pattern of life, Wandi grows. No more the delightful pup that entertained and impressed people with his uniqueness. Now, he and Hermione will soon begin their own family.

Told in a third person narrative, Parrett has thrown open windows of knowledge with a view to this uncommon endangered species. Her poignant descriptions draw attention to the emotions that animals feel, just like humans, and her deep love for dingoes. As they are carnivores, they play an important role in keeping control of animals that destroy the environment.

Wandi can be followed on Instagram @wandi_dingo.

Author/Illustrator: Favel Parrett
Publisher: Hachette, $ 19.99
Publication Date: 29 September 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780734420633
For ages: 6 – 10
Type: Junior Non Fiction