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Publisher Description

This story is a children's fantasy including Australian nature aspects on the topic of the newly discovered Wollemi pine. While Wally is magic, the story includes descriptions of the native bush, and its creatures. Mimi is also fantasy in that he derives from Aboriginal legends.

The story starts in a narrow valley (gully) in the Wollemi National Park, where the original Wollemi pines were discovered. Like "The Hobbit" the story is a journey, and is unique as no other book has been written for children or on this topic. The opening scene starts with Wally Wollemi, and Mimi (coming out of his rock). Wally is magic in that he can become invisible. Wally is very distressed as his pines (he is their keeper) are very restless from fear of foxes and convicts- new arrivals in the pristine Blue Mountains bush. Mimi adds comic relief with his rhymes and silliness.

Next morning Wally wakes to shock horror- the pines have disappeared in the night. In disbelief, Wally guesses that the pines have journeyed to the Warrumbungle range (he knows they have this hidden plan). Surprise occurs with a Stegosaurus emerging from the mud where King Billy, the largest pine was. The creature is named "Steg"­ very large and vegetarian. There are all sorts of creatures present - Quolls, Kangaroo and Joey, Wombat, Bogeye (Shill back lizard) and cockatoos.

The group decide to go with Wally to search for the pines, with help from Steg as a carrier. They are joined at the last minute by and Indigenous girl and English orphan boy. All the creatures can talk. They take guidance from a map sketched on a dry fox skin. There is a lot of fun and jokes on the way and dangers! The journey runs through actual places, for instance, the Glow Worm cave, Dunns swamp and large rock (cave) at Nullo Mountain. They also cross the Castlereagh River- all the time using Kylie (the Indigenous girl) to find "bush tucker

The companions finally cross a Kurrajong plain and enter the Warrumbungle range. They meet a traditional Aboriginal tribe and friendly Koalas. The trip is fraught with danger, including fox and dingo attacks, which are quite frightening (with Wally disappearing at strategic moments). All along the way, Kylie (as a "blacktracker) finds Wollemi Pine tracks in the mud. Finally they find King Billy and the lost pines (at a crater under the "Bread Knife" peak). They have a wonderful surprise- "Meg" a female stegosaurus!

Now is time to return home. They all set out joyfully, including the lost pines set out for Wollemi, passing and stopping at all the sites on the way home.

This story is meant for children 7-10 years and will be appealing to adults as well.

July 3
Publicious Pty Ltd
Ingram DV LLC
Grades 2-5

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