Don’t Wake the Dingo (Sally Morgan, illus by Sarah Boese, Scholastic)
The rhythmic text, with frequent alliteration, makes this story perfect for reading aloud at bedtime. The dingo is asleep in a dim, dry cave, which is warm and comfortable. He’s dreaming of meeting new friends. One by one, other animals enter his cave to shelter from the weather. There’s page-turning tension in the realisation that these animals have all arrived, and imagining what will happen when the dingo finally wakes up. It all ends well though, with the dingo welcoming his new friends. This light-hearted story by Indigenous author Sally Morgan is simple and appealing, reinforcing the value of friendship. It’s teamed with bright, cheerful illustrations of many recognisable Australian native animals. The animals are quite realistically drawn but have appropriate friendly expressions on their faces, which will amuse young children. The text and illustrations are well laid out, making it easy for adults to read aloud, but also for beginner readers (aged four and over).
Margaret Hamilton is a former children’s book publisher. She is now proprietor of Pinerolo, the Children’s Book Cottage in Blackheath, NSW