Tyler is a tigon. His dad is was a tiger, and his mum was a lion. But Tyler feels isolated by the other, more conventional big cats. He’s not like them, and they want nothing to do with him. Feeling unloved and sad, he wanders off on his own. Soon, he comes across Lyla, who is a liger. Her dad was a lion, and her mum was a tiger. She knows how Tyler feels. Neither of them fit in. They’re both unique and different. Tyler and Lyla hit it off, and soon become friends. They’re so pleased to have found each other, and appreciate the how their differences make them similar. They play together, and forget their sadness. When it is time for the two to go home, they feel less worried. They have each other now, and are not alone. They embrace their differences with confidence. When the other big cats see Tyler and Lyla play, they want to join in because it looks like great fun. This leads to acceptance, as the big cat community comes together, forgetting their differences, and getting along, regardless of the way they all look. This is a lovely story that embraces diversity, and cements the message that there need not be such boundaries to friendships. It would help a child who may be finding it hard to make friends, or a child who feels different, for whatever reason.
This is a lovely rhyming tale with a good rhythm, making it a pleasure to read. The last double-page is charming, with a list of unusual creatures and illustrations to match, where the final sentence really involves the child in the story, making the book personal to them.
There is no mention of Tyler and Lyla’s mum and dad in this story, apart from what type of cats they were. This could be seen to add to Tyler and Lyla’s feelings of isolation, and may resonate with Looked After children, who feel different because they’re not with their parents.