Lyin' Brian the Cryin' Lion

Children - Animals
34 Pages
Reviewed on 08/09/2020
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    Book Review

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.

Jacob R LaMar

Lyin’ Brian the Cryin’ Lion is a 34-page children’s picture book written by Terry Ayrault. The book’s focus is on a lion named Brian who is a compulsive liar. He likes to amaze is peers with fabulous fables about his fantastic feats. At first, what they hear, seems to impress them but after a while, Paul the cub feels inclined to burst Brian’s bubble. The shame that follows overwhelms Brian as he becomes embarrassed by his life which has been empty of impressive feats. Unfortunately, Brian discovers he has a unique gift for crying and allows that gift to cover the entire savannah in Brian’s big lion tears. What could ever stop Brian’s Cryin’? Only time will tell and how will this realization that no one believes him change his perspective going forward. I’m afraid those answers are reserved for the ending of this book.

I enjoyed reading Lyin’ Brian the Cryin’ Lion due to its rhyming format and rhythmic tempo. The story is very interesting and admittedly I was pleasantly surprised by the ending. The story finds itself right in the sweet spot where it has a message for the audience but does not take itself too seriously. On a less-than-perfect note, there are occasional times where the rhythm and rhyme seemed forced but the thing that seemed really off-putting to me was a reference the author adds to Brian having a beer which seems out of place in a children’s picture book. The overall manuscript is solid and is sure to be liked by many children; the only question is whether their parents will be okay with their kids reading it. I believe that will be the determining factor for this story. If you are a parent who doesn’t mind a reference like this then I think you’ll find this book to be an enjoyable read for you and your children.

Deborah Lloyd

One day, when young Brian the Lion was with Paul, his pal, on the prairie, he started to tell stories. These were tall tales filled with lies. He said he’d been a top trampolinist, was on a pro basketball team by age five, owned half of Rome, and worked in an office just west of Times Square. Paul challenged all the lies, stating he’d been with Brian his whole life and knew none of these things were true. In fact, Brian’s life had been quite lame. Brian cried and cried, and something amazing occurred. In the children’s book, Lyin’ Brian: The Cryin’ Lion, written by Terry Ayrault, a fascinating story unfolds. After his friend met his wild claims with skepticism, Brian felt ashamed and cried rivers of tears.

This book is meant to be read by parents to young children, and many lessons are intertwined within the story. Discussions can center around the problems created by telling lies; the fantastic claims themselves (such as, how do some people become kings or queens?; can a shark sit in a car?); why tears are important, and many more. When children are old enough to read the book themselves, the story will continue to hold their interest. The illustrations are charming, adding to the imaginations of children and parents. Author Terry Ayrault has skillfully crafted a creative children’s book in Lyin’ Brian The Cryin’ Lion. The reading can end with a question parents can ask children… Did Lyin’ Brian learn his lesson about lying? A wonderful addition to a child’s library – and meaningful family discussion time.