Today we were delighted to receive copies of Keilly Swift and Cosei Kawa’s new picture book The Tigon and the Liger direct from the printers, looking brand new and gorgeous in its packaging. With just over two weeks to go until publication date (8th September), we thought we’d give you the low down on this special new title from Lantana, and why we think it’s a book every child who has ever felt like they don’t fit in (which, let’s face it, is most of us!) should read…
Tyler the tigon was terribly rare. A big cat like him isn’t found everywhere. Unique from his ears to his tail to his tum, his dad was a tiger, a lion his mum…
Tyler the tigon has never fitted in. Neither a tiger like his dad nor a lion like his mum, poor Tyler stands out like a sore thumb. Taunted and teased by the other jungle creatures, he flees into the forest with the weight of the world on his shoulders. But who should he find there? An equally extraordinary creature with a tale to match his own… A delightful story in rhyming verse about appreciating your differences and learning to love the skin you’re in.
And how did it all begin? ‘Tigons and ligers captured my imagination when writing a magazine feature on hybrid creatures,’ says debut picture book author Keilly Swift, who is also managing editor at the hugely popular children’s newspaper, First News. ‘I thought they were wonderful symbols of how we all sometimes feel we don’t belong, and the story of Tyler and Lyla soon took shape…’
And take shape it did. With the help of award-winning Japanese illustrator Cosei Kawa’s gorgeous illustrations, Tyler the tigon and his new friend Lyla the liger soon came leaping out of the pages of this playful book with a serious message.
‘This book is beautiful, the illustrations exquisite, but more than that, the key message about being comfortable in your own skin is important and powerful and it will no doubt become a favourite.’ – Lucy Campbell, award-winning family blogger.
What this lovely, rhyming picture book tells us is that having parents of different nationalities, ethnicities or cultures (or species in the case of Tyler and Lyla!) doesn’t make you neither one thing nor another, but, in fact, the best bits of both. And that’s a pretty wonderful message for anyone who has ever felt torn between two or more identities.
Here at Lantana, we hope that these playful cubs who are taunted and teased for their differences yet manage to find the courage to romp around the pages, delighting in their stripes and spots, will inspire young children to appreciate all the things that make them unique. As the 7 year-old pupils of All Saints Class at Portway Primary school wrote after Keilly’s author visit: ‘The story taught us it doesn’t matter who is different, we are all special.’
‘The Tigon and The Liger opens very young children’s eyes to the notion that, although other people may seem different, inside we all share the same hopes, fears, needs and dreams. The Tigon and the Liger is destined to become a new classic and is a book every child should grow up reading.’ – Nicky Cox MBE, First News
Tigons and ligers are far from alone in the animal kingdom. Zedonks, zorses, leopons, pumapards and wallaroos are all descended from parents of different species, a phenomenon that is not without ethical contention given that most documented cases of hybrid creatures exist within the confines of man-made zoos.
In the wilds of our children’s imaginations, however, we hope Tyler and Lyla will become a beacon of hope and a source of inspiration to children everywhere, and a fantastic way ‘to teach younger children about being unique and comfortable with who they are’, as Scott Chudley, the Deputy Head of Portway Primary, puts it.
To pre-order your advance copy today, please click here!