Author and Psychologist Elizabeth Cygan brings to life a pair of adventurous cats to help expand children’s vocabulary in “A Tale of Two Tails: The Adventures of Ben and Bel”
Cat-astrophe and cat-atonic. Cat-aclysm and Cat-acomb. Cat-call and cat-apult… Welcome to the world of cat-words. Elizabeth Cygan ‘s recent book is so funny and incredible. It presents a collection of true tales about Benjamin and Annabel, her Siamese cats. The book – A Tale of Two Tails: the Adventures of Ben and Bel – gives a history of Siam and the siamese cat, using cat-words. The two playfully mischievous cats are on a mission to teach children some new words.
With each chapter, Ben and Bel find themselves encountering a different crazy adventure, and Cygan hopes readers will learn throughout the journey. Whether the cats deal with a catapult or a giant catastrophe, Cygan aims for the funny felines to help readers expand their vocabulary.
Intended for readers to get more than a vocabulary lesson, “A Tale of Two Tails” also aims to provide history lessons behind Siamese cats and Old Siam, where they originated. Ben and Bel soon begin to run the house, creating all kinds of lovable trouble.
“Since I have tested and advocated for special-needs students, I’ve seen the kind of material that works for children,” says Cygan. “Right now, there’s a surplus of books that have high interest, but with low vocabulary. This book will engage them and also supply them with a wider range of words to use daily.”
Besides her two cats at home, Cygan cites the 16 countries ahead of the United States in educational achievement as her inspiration behind “A Tale of Two Tails.”
The author points to studies reflecting that many students and adults find difficulty in reading simple books and newspaper articles. Cygan hopes to offer readers an educational yet entertaining tale with Ben and Bel, but also seeks to provide a tool that will help work toward the reversal of the country’s illiteracy rate.
The book shows watercolors, ink and pen drawings and photos illustrating the tales. The premise is kids enjoy it when the cats run the household with their mad antics. Also kids learn best when they are engaged, having fun and don’t realize that they are learning. Illustrator: Randy LaSage; photos:Elizabeth Hill.
“A Tale of Two Tails: The Adventures of Ben and Bel” (ISBN 978-1439273937) is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels.
ABOUT ELIZABETH CYGAN
Elizabeth Cygan has been a counselor, psychologist and special education teacher. She writes about history, economic and educational articles. Elizabeth has undergraduate degrees in English, history and education, and graduate degrees in history, business and psychology. She has worked as a special-needs teacher and counselor in elementary schools, and writes a column in “The Sudbury Town Crier.” As literacy rates continue to plummet in the United States, Elizabeth Cygan aims to further educate school-aged children. Cygan lives in Massachusetts, is married and she has two sons and two grandchildren.