Pubblicato in: Fiutando Libri!, Human English Version!

Fiera del Libro per Ragazzi di Bologna – Children’s Book Fair

pegDopo tre giorni alla Children’s Book Fair di Bologna mi rimane l’emozione di una fiera del cuore.

After three days at the Children’s Book Fair in Bologna the feeling it wasn’t simply a book fair but a real “heart fair” is still in me.

Sono appena rientrata dalla passeggiata mattutina con Bryce e lui, che è rimasto a casa per tre giorni a annoiarsi, è finalmente rilassato e felice di tornare alle nostre abitudini quotidiane. Bryce è sotto la mia scrivania, la casa è silenziosa, il tempo è uggioso.

I’m just come back from the morning walk with Bryce and he, who stayed three days at home annoying himself, is finally relaxed and happy to have our daily routine back. Bryce lies under my desk, the house is quite and the weather is gloomy.

Scrivere per ragazzi è per me un mestiere speciale, nei miei libri ci sono io e sempre io ci sono nelle relazioni umane che intreccio. Quella rete strana, fragile o d’acciaio che sono le amicizie. L’amicizia è uno dei temi che ricorre sempre nelle mie storie, l’amicizia è un valore che coltivo da sempre.

To write children stories is a very special job: I’m always in my books and I’m in all the human relationships I weave too, that peculiar, fragile or strong net forming friendship. And friendship is one of the main subjects of all my stories, it’s one of the values I’m always cultivating.

In questi tre giorni di fiera ho incontrato tante persone, ho capito che alcune amicizie sono salde e forti. Alle volte l’ho capito in un abbraccio o in un continuare a cercarsi: Sei al padiglione 29? Sto scappando a una presentazione! Andiamo ad ascoltare quell’autore, a sfogliare quel libro, a mangiare un panino…? Altre volte l’ho capito in quindici minuti di conversazione fitta fitta, condensata, piena di parole importanti.

During these three days I met a lot of people, I realized some friendships are strong and steady; sometimes I could understand it through a hug or just because we were keeping on searching each other: Are you at stand 29? I’m going to a reading… let’s go listening to that author, to read that book or to eat a sandwich??? Other times I realized it in a 15 minutes intense conversation full of important words.

Poi in fiera ho incontrato persone che volevo conoscere e in pochi minuti ho capito che l’empatia funziona anche tramite la rete internet e abbracciarsi è stata solo una conferma. So che quelle persone rimarranno nella mia vita di scrittrice, lettrice, promotrice dell’amicizia leale e senza barriere per la quale abbiamo con spontaneità gettato le basi.

At the fair I met people I would like to know and in a few seconds I felt that empathy works also through internet and to embrace each other is a further proof of it. I know those people will stay forever in my life as a writer, reader and promoter of leal and no barrier friendship, for which we spontaneously lay the foundations.

Il mio ultimo libro era sul banco dell’editore. Gli occhi magnetici del gatto mi hanno incoraggiato, rassicurato, guidato e una filiera di bellezza e di positività nel mondo dei libri per ragazzi si è rivelata ai miei occhi. Autori, editori, lettori, bibliotecari e librai che credono nel potere dei libri onesti, quelli che regalano emozioni e aiutano tutti noi a crescere. Continuano a tornarmi in mente le parole di Roberto Piumini che, sintetizzate, esortano a non banalizzare. Non banalizziamo il potere della letteratura per ragazzi, alimentiamolo con passione sincera e semineremo bellezza.

My last novel was on the editor stand. The magnetic cat’s eyes encouraged, reassured, guided me and a beauty and positiveness die in the children books’ world revealed to my eyes. Authors, editors, readers, librarians and booksellers believing in honest books’ power, those giving emotions and helping us to grow. Since then Roberto Piumini’s words are still in my mind. Shortly they urged us not to trivialize. Don’t trivialize children literature’s power but instead let’s feed it with honest passion and we will spread beauty.

Nel mondo di oggi si può, forse, chissà… ci crediamo?

In today’s world it could be possible… we can, perhaps, maybe… do we believe in it?

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Sono tornata a casa da Bologna con tanti libri, alcuni con dediche meravigliose e dolcissime e con il libro del piccolo Sheepdog che tanto assomiglia a Brik. L’editore scozzese Floris Books non poteva vendermi quel libro che i miei occhi avevano individuato il primo giorno con un’attrazione fatale. Chi ha disegnato quel cane lo conosce bene e un legame invisibile che sfida la distanza e la velocità della luce si è creato immediatamente. L’editore ne ha messo da parte una copia e l’ultimo giorno me l’ha regalata. Io ho regalato in cambio una copia di Echino dove c’è l’articolo del Brik. Non è stato un contatto di lavoro, è stata una relazione umana tra persone, passata attraverso il mio inglese approssimativo e le pagine dei libri. Ho ricevuto in dono un libro che adoro e la gentilezza di un’editor scozzese.

I came home from Bologna with lots of books, some even with beautiful and very sweet dedications, and with a special book about a little Sheepdog who is so very like Brik. The Scottish editor Floris Books couldn’t sell to me that book, which fatally attracted my eyes from the very first day… who drow this dog, knows him very we’ll and an invisible relationship, challenging distance and the speed of light, created immediately. The editor kept one copy for me and last day she gave it to me. In exchange for it I gave her a copy of Echino, where there is an article of Brik.
It wasn’t a work contact but a real human relationship fed by my inaccurate English and some book’s pages. I have been given the book I adore and the kindness of a Scottish editor. (… and compliments to Sandra Klaassen!)

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Sandra Klassen di Floris Books: www.florisbooks.co.uk/blog/2015/05/13/florisdesign-illustrator-interview-sandra-klaassen-2/

12909432_1178408702184207_2991474774919569307_oEchino: www.echino.it 

brik manoscritto

Come nascono le storie… ilgiovanebrik.com/2016/03/07/come-nascono-le-storie-il-segreto-del-manoscritto

Notes Edizioni: www.notesedizioni.it/index.php?option=com_libreria&c=pubblicazioni&task=display&idpubblicazione=58&Itemid=61

Pubblicato in: Canine English Version!

Frankly, I don’t give a damn

Sheepdog, sheep, flock control are part of a Border Collie work, and yet Brick slights them. He likes to taste the sheep poop pralines and to bark to the hens in the near fence. He barks offensively aloud to the horses but he is not interested in the sheep. At least this is Umi’s idea after a few sheep control lessons that she and Bryce did together.

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But other thoughts go through young Brick’s mind, while he rests dirty and tired.

“I ask myself: why should I gather 4 afraid sheep? Ok, I’m a border and if you take me to a farm in a boundless moor with a flock to be led to a sheepfold I could bustle. But in a fence, with the sheep I feel myself uncomfortable then the poor animals are fed up to give lessons to a dog, the teacher explains to the people what to do and they do it, they improvise themselves shepherds and dogs engage and some even try to bite the sheep. Istantanea 8 (12-02-2016 22-04)The dogs, the ordinary ones, don’t know that during serious sheepdog competitions biting the sheep shank is a serious penalty. They can even be disqualified only for a bite! I don’t want to be the jaguar’s friend or rewrite Tom and Jerry subverting the things natural order, but I’m sorry for those wooly heads, all day long going around foolishly in a fence, going in and out the gates risking the shanks only to entertain humans! We, the borders, control the sheep with our look, our eyes give order…. let German Shepherd join the Police and leave us the dirty job! Paws get muddy, hair puffs up and our magnetic eyes order the rebel sheep to go back to the flock. Istantanea 10 (12-02-2016 22-06)That happens in Scotland or in the Alp pastures, not in the riding school fence behind the house. There you annoy the hens because a serious border has mostly a nuisance nature. He is irreverent, virtually scoundrel, and extremely clever to understand when a human needs to be cuddled. We, the borders, love to converse with horses, they have great empathy and irony, we gladly exchange a few jokes when we met. As far as the pralines are concerned… everyone has his own weaknesses and tastes… and it’s real vegan food!

In italiano… L’amico del giaguaro

Pubblicato in: Canine English Version!

Rain and fire

It’s raining, I just came back, the rain makes me completely humid. I was well dried and rubbed. Now I’m lying on then carpet by the fire burning in the fireplace. I hear Umi working in the kitchen but I know I don’t need to get up because according to my brothers when she is there she only plays with the chemistry set…

IMG_6568 - CopiaTherefore I keep watching at the fire! Rain reminds me at something I don’t know but that is in me somewhere. It doesn’t bother me to have wet hair, my undercoat keeps me warm and dry. I love running in the rain, it makes me electric! If I close my eyes, stung by the flames’heat, I can imagine myself working on my canine ancestors’cold hills, I hear the shepherds’ whistles, the mud soaking my paws while I rally big and nervous sheeps. My young body’s energy busts in the control and gathering work, and overcomes cold and danger and even the stony ground scratching my fingertips.

I open my eyes on my pack, the pack I love like only dogs can do. My human brother, that I wake up every morning with my humid nose, that I push out of the door and follow with my eyes till he leaves the house alleyway (not for nothing, but if he looses the bus I must “keep it” till we take him downtown to the school). To wake up my other brother I must jump on him with all my four paws! But… how much do the humans sleep? Then there is Umi… you can’t even imagine how much patience I need with her! She stops to talk with an old couple: the lady has a stick, the dog has not… but I’m sure it would be useful to him too… Umi softens and every time is almost moved: the dog was her husband’s, who died some years ago. The ambulance came to talk him and since then the dog doesn’t bear the siren’s sound. Before dying at the hospital the old man was worried about his dog’s future and since then his wife always keeps the dog by her side as she was the husband. Life, old age, and death: that’s the way it goes. Stop moving every time! I close my eyes and let the fire heat warm my hair and bones. The rain smell is still in my nostrils… I could be elsewhere, there, where my nature would like to be… but I’m here and here I’m useful.

In italiano … Pioggia e fuoco

Pubblicato in: Human English Version!, Ragionando di un cane di nome Brik...

… è tutta questione di naso! … it’s just a matter of nose!

WP_20151111_09_23_57_ProBryce al parco gioca con la sua pallina. Gli chiedo di stare fermo, la lancio e lui potrà andare a recuperarla solo quando io dirò: OK!!!

At the park Bryce plays with his  ball. I ask him to stay, I throw it and he can go to fetch it only when I say: OK!!!

E’ inverno pieno, ma il freddo quest’anno è arrivato tardi. Un tappeto di foglie morbide di bruma, gialle, rosse e arancioni ricopre il terreno. Arriva un Beagle femmina. Una simpatica cagnolona sovrappeso e allegra. Tiro lontano la pallina e Bryce corre a cercarla. Si lancia all’inseguimento, salta, affonda nelle foglie, si rotola e infila il naso nell’erba alla ricerca della sua preda di caucciù.

It is midwinter, but the cold arrived late this year. A carpet of soft, misty, red, yellow and orange leaves covers the ground. A female beagle arrives. A nice, overweight and cheerful dog. I throw the ball far away and Bryce run to search it. He gives chase, jumps, sinks in the leaves.  He rolls and sticks it’s nose to the grass searching its rubber prey. 

Arriva Wendi, la Beagle, al trotto e senza neanche abbassare troppo il naso sul terreno segue le tracce della pallina. Bry ha sollevato terra e goccioline di bruma con la coda a spazzola e allegro perlustra tutto intorno: gira e rigira e cerca. Fiuta e s’accanisce nella caccia come un lupo nel bosco. Wendi non devia il percorso, che sa già essere il più breve per arrivare alla pallina, e non ci mette neanche dieci secondi a scovarla sotto il fWP_20151111_09_23_48_Proogliame e a prenderla in bocca. Con occhi dolci e orecchie morbide come una cascata di capelli castani guarda Bryce: se non avesse la pallina tra i denti si potrebbe pensare che sorrida.

Wendy, the beagle, arrives trotting and even without lowering to much her nose to the ground, she follows the ball’s tracks. Bryce lifts ground and mist drops with his brush-shaped tail and cheerfully scouts all around: he turns and turns and searches. He sniffs and insists hunting like a wolf in the wood. Wendy doesn’t change her route, that she knows to be the shortest one to the ball. She needs less than 10 seconds to find and take it in her mouth. With sweet eyes and soft ears that remind a soft cascade of brown hairs, she looks at Bryce: if she hadn’t the ball in her mouth you could think she is smiling.

Lui si immobilizza: coda ritta, posa plastica e negli occhi una muta domanda: “Ma dove diavolo era intanata quella furbissima pallina? L’ho cercata ovunque!”

He Stands motionless: straight tail, proud pose and a silent question in his eyes: “But where on earth was that smart ball? I looked for it everywhere!”

Caro border, è tutta questione di naso!

Dear border, it’s just a matter of nose!

Pubblicato in: Canine English Version!

The importance of stealing smartly

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m a border collie then I’m a herding dog. I gather the sheep on the Scottish highlands, I run with a lower tail, my body stretched forward and alert eyes. Nothing shrink my look and when the shepherd whistles I run like an arrow. That’s what is told about me and what is written in my DNA. Not all Border collies work in Scotland with sheep, some of us are excellent athletes or Civil Protection volunteers both in the UK and in other countries.

And then there is me and my Umi.

Well, she is not a real natural disaster and nevertheless she is a hard work, turning me in a watchdog (and being a border this is very disheartening). To make matters worse Umi is a real wrangler. At the park if a careless human let his dog dirty she attacks like a Rottweiler. And she never argues with the little dogs’ owners, I had to deal with a long haired German Shepherd… okay, it was enough to bark at him that I would tear his fur with my bites and I would spit his braided hair like a David Crockett’s hat and he immediately settled down quietly. But not all dogs are borders. Besides I must get food and therefore I let my human brother teach me some tricks (some stupid games). I’m learning “sbam”: I should lay down as if I was dead. I think to eat a pair of that Frankfurter packages, that he uses as positive reinforcement, before showing him a perfect “sbam”. However, as far as food is concerned you must trust only Granny, although being a cat lover eel she is very wise. While Umi was cutting some cheese on the chopping board to prepare pizza I was sniffing it… I was sniffing and drooling. It’s not my fault if I’m a shepherd… for a big piece of cheese I would do a perfect “sbam” at the first shot. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn short I was sniffing that Sardinian cheese laying only a inch far away from my nose but dangerously near the table edge. Umi stated: “He is a good dog, he would never steal it” (deluded human) and Granny said: “He is a family dog (you can bet I’m), he doesn’t think to steal it but simply to take it (I’m not a thief). Put yourself in his border head (but yet it’s difficult to soar so much)…food belongs to the pack: like your son opens the fridge to take a coke so Brik would take the cheese”.

That’s why I love her even though she is a cat lover. I don’t have opposable thumbs to take the fridge handle yet I have opposable jaws for the cheese and this doesn’t mean to steal but to take with elegance!

In italiano Prendere con eleganza.

Pubblicato in: Human English Version!

He’s just a dog…?

He’s just a dog. Yet I don’t like to humanize animals, even if today it’s quite natural: cartoons, books, games do it. It’s easy to forget the science called ethology  and play with imagination. I’m doing it too on my blog! And yet although I try to keep my feet on the ground and my head on my shoulders I can’t help been amazed by some of Bryce’s behaviors.

WP_20151031_09_18_25_ProI warmed a slice of pizza and I told to my son to take it. Ten minutes went by and then 15 and he totally forgot the pizza loosing his mind in his thoughts (homeworks, music, chat). Bryce, who followed carefully the event, stood up on his rear paws took the pizza’ sedge and brought the slice to his human brother. He put it at his feet and looked at him. He seemed to say:” Are you eating it? If you aren’t, I will”.
He could have stolen and eaten it: he is only a dog! But he didn’t: intelligence, sense of pack membership, dormant atavistic hunger? Who knows…

The fact remains: this behavior amaze and fascinate me at the same time. I would like to know what activated this behavior in Brik’s head, but I settle to look into his amber eyes which are telling thousand of stories, and his stracciatella-colored muzzle with his hanging tongue that makes him looking like he’s always smiling. It’s fine to know he is part of a family, ops…pack!

Sometimes I’m thinking that even if I can’t read Brik’s mind, he and the other dogs and cats can. It would be curious if they could understand our words or our feelings while we couldn’t decode their behavior. It would be weird to discover that they are the real advanced ones…
Obviously I’m only kidding…or not???

Italian version: è solo un cane…?

Pubblicato in: Canine English Version!

Vive la république!

My Granny, half French and half Roman, is part of my pack. Each morning she arrives trotting cheerfully. I founded the “5 paws movement” for the protection of the home dog’s rights with my human brothers. We put Umi immediately in the minority making any opposition of hers fall, while Granny is the extremist fringe of the opposition resistance. She uses a rolled newspaper as a weapon to threaten me when I wallow on the lounge carpet to scratch myself. Should I pretend to be afraid? As If I didn’t know a newspaper can be reduced to coriander… Naive like a flower-power girl!

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Granny always reads with a cat on her lap. She thinks cats are always right and I’m always wrong. I can’t jump on the bed while cats can; I can’t sit on the couch, they can sleep on it for hours; they can even use me as a pillow but I can’t play with them: because I frighten them!

When I have to pee is a war: “not on the hydrangeas”, “not in the rock garden side” “not on the sage” shouts Granny! And I must jump to the oleander, while the cats… they pee everywhere to mark their territory, they delimit our garden’s perimeters to keep the neighborhood cats out. Which simply means they pee wherever they want.

Granny is a eel: if she comes to the market with us, she escapes and slips among the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbenches and I get mad to find her, to launch the “lost granny” alarm and bring Umi on her trace.

And yet… Granny is corruptible! She thinks to be able to open the cookie jar preventing me to hear her. I always catch her red-handed and then I have my insatiable revenge: I look at her, I stare at her following the sweet movement of the sugar free cookies she dips in her tea (I’m always a border collie, I control the sheep alone with my look and I’m an hypnosis master). My eyes make her feel guilty, they make her feel a fat, old human starving a sad malnourished dog. And being a great artist I let a thread of drool fall on the ground, I’m like a spider weaving its web. Therefore every time she surrenders and with a guilty feeling and some disgust she gives me a cookie. We shouldn’t eat cookies because I’m allergic to cereals and she has a bad relationship with her glycemic index, but none of us will ever say a word to Umi.

At the end Granny gets angry with Umi and she reproaches her for the anarchy reigning in our pack. It’s not real anarchy: the cats rule. But I keep this opinion only for myself.
Vive la république!

In italiano: Vive la république!