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Tyrone the Terrible

By

Loved it! 😍

An excellent storybook for children by a gifted author. It might be enjoyable for children of all ages too!

Synopsis

Tyrone is the skinniest chameleon in the swamp. No one wants him on their team. After going on a fitness program, Tyrone gets carried away with his new self and terrorizes his friends in Gnarly Tree Bend until he meets Sly, the meanest gator in the bayou. Looks like Tyrone is gumbo.

The moral of this story? Someone is always bigger and badder than you, so you’d best make friends along the way.

Tyrone the Terrible is a bullying tale. The feisty chameleon picks on his bayou buddies before meeting his match. In the process, he learns the value of friends and family and how actions have consequences.

This delightful story is filled with swampy animal characters with a distinctly southern voice—not quite Brer Rabbit, but a good deep-south feel.

I chose Tyrone the Terrible by Jan Lis for review because I succumbed quickly to a temptation I experienced while glimpsing its synopsis. What I read (in the synopsis) led me to believe that here lay an opportunity to revisit that sublime land of bygone days inhabited by such worthies as Puff the Magic Dragon, Mowgli and his “Jungle Book” friends, the critters in “Aesop’s Fables”, and many more. You know it too; it’s a brief walk down memory lane to days when you were young (if you’re 'old' now!)—an irresistible land, full of lovable animal rascals, scoundrels, Terribles and Horribles, whose joys we cannot equal but share.


As I started reading Tyrone the Terrible, I realized I had entered that innocent land of fun and frolic once more. I was walking along the dirt path near a chameleon’s house. From the book, I discovered his name was Tyrone. A short while later, I saw him sitting on that rock named Stone Rock (near the bend in the river they call ‘Gnarly Tree Bend’). He was born not too long ago. He was so thin and puny that I couldn’t believe destiny held the role of a Terrible for him, but strangely it did!


This book for children is sure to enchant, draw, and cast that familiar spell of wonder and awe, that a superb story casts on an eager audience of young children when told. The hand-drawn sketches aid in visualizing and make it more enjoyable. The only problem is it's short and there isn’t another story in the book to tell an audience member who insists on being told one more. And there’s a moral to learn too: being terrible works, but success is short-lived under a regime of terror. In the long run, you risk losing your honor ... or even being killed by one more terrible than yourself! A Terrible lasts only until another that’s more terrible arrives ... so, why not try being friendly in the first place?


There is no magic or scary stuff, aliens or UFOs, etc. in Tyrone the Terrible, so wary parents can drop all fears and buy it boldly for their kids. It’s suitable for school going kids up to (say) grade six and ideal for the younger members in this group. I recommend it whole-heartedly to parents all over the globe for use for their children.

Reviewed by

An engineer and part-time IT Consultant based in Bangalore, India. Part-time copy editor/reviewer. An IEEE Senior Member. Deep thinker and innovator. Highly analytical, clear, accurate, and thorough. Nearly 35 book reviews published to date-15 on Reedsy and 20 on Online BookClub.

Synopsis

Tyrone is the skinniest chameleon in the swamp. No one wants him on their team. After going on a fitness program, Tyrone gets carried away with his new self and terrorizes his friends in Gnarly Tree Bend until he meets Sly, the meanest gator in the bayou. Looks like Tyrone is gumbo.

The moral of this story? Someone is always bigger and badder than you, so you’d best make friends along the way.

Tyrone the Terrible is a bullying tale. The feisty chameleon picks on his bayou buddies before meeting his match. In the process, he learns the value of friends and family and how actions have consequences.

This delightful story is filled with swampy animal characters with a distinctly southern voice—not quite Brer Rabbit, but a good deep-south feel.

TYRONE THE TERRIBLE, The Chameleon Who Decided He Was an Alligator

by Jan Lis


CHAPTER ONE


       A little scrap of a chameleon, no bigger than a minute hatched out of his shell. He was the tiniest piece of nothing you ever did see. His mama looked down at him and sighed. “Such a puny little fellow. What to call you? How about Tyrone? There’s a good name for you to grow into, son.”

Just then, Tyrone’s sister wiggled her way out of her shell. She stretched and flicked off a piece of shell stuck to her shoulder. “Oh, that’s better. I was getting mighty cramped in there.” She looked up at Mama and blinked her big beautiful eyes.

“Oh my, my,” Mama said. “This little girl is just too beautiful to behold. I’m going to name her LaBelle.”

Mama turned. “Well, children, let’s go find some nice mealy worms for your breakfast. I declare, Tyrone, you’re going to have to eat a pile of ‘em before you amount to anything.”

Tyrone hitched himself up and trotted along after Mama and LaBelle. “I was just borned and already I got problems,” he muttered. “This ain’t going to be easy.”

Now I must tell you, Tyrone lived on the Bayou at a little rise in the ground just before you get to the place in the swamp where the river makes a dogleg turn to the right. The place is called Gnarly Tree Bend. You know of it, I’m sure.

Gnarly Tree Bend was a lovely place for a chameleon to grow up, and Tyrone was doing the best he could. But he was still kind of puny, and the other critters really didn’t want him to hang out with them. When they chose sides to play a game of baseball, no one wanted to choose Tyrone to play on their team. “He’s too slow. He can’t hit far enough. He can’t catch the ball,” they’d say. So, when he wasn’t in school, Tyrone spent a great deal of the time by himself.

Tyrone’s favorite spot in all of Gnarly Tree Bend was Sun Rock. Almost every afternoon when school was out, and on Saturdays, you could find him there. I don’t know if you have ever seen this place in your travels, but you can’t imagine a more perfect place in the world for a chameleon to sun himself and not be bothered by just about anything at all.

Sun Rock was an almost perfectly round rock, flat on top rather like a pie plate, and situated about a number 12 shoe size out into the river. The bank gradually sloped down into the water and out to the rock. Now, Tyrone knew how to swim, and could have swum out to his rock if he’d had to. The water was shallow enough he could have waded out most of the way.

But the glory was, he didn’t have to. Three small stones placed just so and so and so between the riverbank and Sun Rock allowed Tyrone to hop from one to the other to the other and up onto Sun Rock without getting his toes wet.

Oh, this was heaven—stretched out on his rock with the sun warming his chameleon skin, away from everything, and on his own private island. “I’m King of the Rock!” he hollered as he stood at the edge with his arms up as high as he could reach.

Except … Tyrone didn’t always want to be alone so much. “I want to be with the other guys, laughing and clowning around, and doing stuff. I want to play baseball and hit a homer. I want to catch a pop fly over first base. I want to …”


About the author

Jan Lis is south Florida writer and artist. Living in this multicultural area, Jan uses these diverse cultural influences in her stories. Jan attended the Cleveland Institute of Art, has a degree from Ohio University’s School of Fine Art, and took post-graduate writing at Case-Western Reserve. view profile

Published on March 11, 2020

Published by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.

6000 words

Genre: Children's Books

Reviewed by

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