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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Lyin' Brian the Cryin' Lion is a children’s animal picture book written by Terry Ayrault. Brian was a young lion who talked a good game. He had been everywhere and done everything, at least according to himself, and there was literally nothing that he couldn’t do. His friends listened as he talked on and on about his travels, musical skills, and culinary panache. Finally, his friend, Paul the cub, couldn’t take it anymore. All the fibs and tall tales were wearing thin. Worst of all, he didn’t understand how Brian could make these things up since they had grown up together. Brian was shocked by Paul’s accusation. He lowered his head and began to cry. Huge tears fell and began to gather as the young lion admitted to his fibs and explained why he acted as he did.
Terry Ayrault’s Lyin' Brian the Cryin' Lion features a young lion with a penchant for making up tall tales about himself and his accomplishments, and the friends who finally get a little too fed up with all the blather. As the author indicates in his foreword, this book is designed to be shared by an adult and child as the language and humor are slightly more advanced than most children are used to. He stresses the importance of that interaction and shared knowledge in reading this book and then going on to reading others. Ayrault’s prose is glorious and funny, and caregivers will have a grand time explaining to their young audience the difference between the baloney you eat and the baloney Brian seems to be full of. The illustrations are masterful! I love the subdued and eloquent color palette used and the expressions on Brian’s and the other animals’ faces are priceless. This is a book that kids and their adult caregivers can grow with; reading it together is a grand collaboration. Lyin' Brian the Cryin' Lion is most highly recommended.