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Reviewed by Bruce Arrington for Readers' Favorite
Tyson's Tail by Melissa Desmond is an illustrated children’s story about a family pet, Tyson, who was a beloved cat. He was bolder than the family’s other pet, and this led to his eventual loss. The loss is felt deeply in the heart of the main character, who must learn to live with it. This is a book I could related to, though not so much with cats as with dogs. In my childhood years, our dogs often were hit by cars after learning (from neighbor dogs) how to chase them. This resulted in many tears and heartaches growing up. So that’s one thing this book did for me: helped me to remember the losses I’ve had with animals I have loved.
However, this book goes beyond the typical “I am sad and I must learn to deal with it” theme. The author shows deep, heartfelt feelings over the loss of a pet who was greatly loved. This heartache did not go away quickly, nor does it ever tend to. Sometimes the pain is felt for a long time. This is a realistic part of the story that I think many readers will be able to relate to as we all suffer loss, whether it be our blood relatives, our friends or our pets. It’s part of life, of being human. Yet this book gently helps the reader, doesn’t prod or push, but offers sympathy and understanding of that loss we may experience. This was a personal experience of the family, which makes this story more believable. Highly recommended.