Pubblicato in: Canine English Version!, Fiutando Libri!, Human English Version!

Sniffing out books…! Fiutando libri!


Girl Detached by Manuela Salvi Higlly recommed for Young Adult!

(Italian version: Una ciotola di emozioni forti… è solo Letteratura! )

salviAleksandra has issues with her voice. Stress makes her stutter, and her life is one of stress. She can only speak clearly on stage, freed by the words of the character she plays. Then, when Aleksandra befriends her new neighbour Megan, and through her meets charming, handsome Ruben, it seems she has discovered a doorway into a different world, and a different Alek. But Ruben wants Aleksandra to play a particular role for him, and it is one that will come close to destroying her.



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?

WP_20160406_17_11_52_Pro (2)

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!)


Sandra Klassen di Floris Books:


brik manoscritto

Come nascono le storie…

Notes Edizioni:

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.


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: 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: Fiutando Libri!, Human English Version!

I libri uniscono… together with books!

Ecco una conchiglia che mi hanno regalato i ragazzi siciliani durante la festa del Libro di Valderice, ripescata ieri nella mia borsa! L’ho messa tra le conchiglie del Mar Ligure che mi diede la mia amica Anna, cui è dedicato il libro “Come conchiglie sulla spiaggia”.

Ogni tanto, chiusa nel mio studio a Verona, chiedevo: “Com’è il mare oggi? Di che colore è?… e il vento? di cosa profuma il vento stamattina?”

Anna che ama il suo mare e il suo vento era i miei occhi, insieme ai miei ricordi, mentre scrivevo “Come conchiglie sulla spiaggia”.

Il piatto delle conchiglie è il dono dei ragazzi di una scuola di Treviso, fatto da loro nel laboratorio di ceramica!WP_20150528_13_48_56_Pro

Here it is a shell the Sicilian boys  gaveme duringthe Valderice Book Fair that i found yesterday in my bag! I put it among the shells from the Ligurian Sea sent from  my friend Anna, to which i dedicated my book “Come conchiglie sulla spiaggia”.

Occasionally, closed in my office, I asked her “How is the sea Today? What’s its color? And the wind? What’s its smell this morning?”

Anna, Who loves her sea and wind, was my eyes together with my memories while I was writing “Come conchiglie sulla spiaggia”

The shells’ plate is a present from the students of a school in Treviso: they did it during their ceramic lab.

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Pubblicato in: Canine English Version!

I was flooding the world!

This morning Umi and I were going out for our quite daily walk, but my human brother lost once again the bus to school, so we rushed in the car to pick and bring him to school. Yet I should pee but I told to myself…  I could keep it for a while.

I didn’t like car rides but by now I’m used to and when we go downtown I look out of the window. My brother put some music on, Umi’s loved one, to relOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAax her. He uses Billy Joel like I use my dog smile and happy wag to be forgiven. We stopped and I saw a human who was oddly dressed. Her face was black like a tree bark, had a crooked expression and wore two trousers together and she limped. She stretched her hand towards me and I licked the window…

Meanwhile I should still pee… but at the next stop there was another human. She was tall with rear shining and high heel “lift-paws”. On her body without fur she wore a red jacket and skirt (border can memorize up to 1000 words: it’s scientifically tested). She had such shining and black hairs, that according to me they put pure salmon oil also in her kibbles. Then she had two dark frisbees on her eyes, they were so big they hid half of her face. Once in a cableway they put me a muzzle, perhaps those frisbee are a sort of human one… in front of the school there Foto0181were a lot of young human specimen: sweet, all looking alike, all smelling milk and cigarettes. Humans without furs are odd: they disguise themselves as they like and however I should still pee…

My Umi always wears old trekking trousers, t-shirt and sneakers, now she has short hairs and it’s said she looks like a little artichoke ( by the way, what is it a little artichoke? I don’t know this word). But Umi smell good and scent of mom and I like her! Damned music, damn young human: I’m softening! … hey brother next time let’s listen to AC/DC otherwise I loose bite!

Meanwhile we arrived at the park: finally I opened the bulkheads, opened my hydrant and I was flooding the world!

In italiano: … acqua alle corde! (clicca e leggi!)

Pubblicato in: Canine English Version!

Do you already know our house cats? Let’s talk about them! (… happy Easter!)

noiWhat can you do when a cat choose your paw as a pillow? And what do you do when a cat decides that he likes you even If you are a dog? Well, with some feline it’s not even worth talking about it: you sit still like a sphinx and he stands gently up on his rear paws and he rubs his little head under your chin purring. It’s really embarrassing. I swear, but it’s also evident (I’m a cultured dog), that facing such a showy trust you cannot react aggressively. It’s a sort of peaciful protest played out by my feline roommate to destroy the cliché according to which cats and dogs are the bitterst enemies, an evident stand-up of purrs and rubbings to overturn some old and overcome legends. Perhaps a stupid dog could misunderstand but surely not a clever, sensible border with his commonsense. I sit still, sometimes I flatten my ears backwards for embarrassment, but usually I do nothing, its called self-control.

Sometimes my human brother makes me play this game: I must sit still in front of a yummy trick untill he lets me eat it. He does it to teach me to resist to the primal impulse to eat, just in case I would – but I shouldn’t – gobble a poisoned morsel: oh, be sure!!

noi1I already train my self-control with the house cat who unilaterally decided to be my best friend. I must defend my dignity, but I cannot savage him: this is self-control to me!

Moreover Umi would not be happy If I would bite that peaciful furball. When the house cat (not vegan-pacifist) catches a lizard or a little bird Umi makes a ruckus to free it from his claws. What’s if there is a lizard less in the garden? But no, she starts a fight with the feline to take away the prey, and he, stupid, even makes the effort to bring it home. In short Umi doesn’t care about the food chain and therefore it’s better to give up; it can be useful to lick someone else’s bowl (Umi doesn’t know but I can reach it).  I personally like commonplaces, but I’m a good dog and therefore I conform. As a matter of fact there are two cats at home: one loves me the other is stupid. As puppies we chased eachother, now he ignores me like it should be, or he utters a plaintive meow which means let me in peace. And Who touches you? If I should strive for something it will always and only be for the bowl, the ball and the setee’s use… according to the priority order!

Pubblicato in: Canine English Version!

Here is Umi, my uman mentor!

It’s said that dogs grew fond above all to one of their family’s members, but that’s not me! I’m a multi-human-lover. Maybe I still have a little crush on a particular human which I perfectly trained: he threw a ball exactly as I taught him, we didn’t fail a shot!

However I feel very selfconfident like all borders do, and I don’t disdain an agility race tubowith a good and beautiful handler because, I must say it, Umi, my present handler, is a little bumbling. She doesn’t run fast and she mistakes hand or foot! I come out of the tunnel at a supersonic speed, low tail, alert ears, ready to face the next obstacle… and my Umi points a jump, then she rethinks and gives me a short: “no, no, wait!” “It was an out”. What does a poor border have to do? He is trained to understand quickly, but what can he do if he has an handler who reads a whole pamphlet about street indications in dog sports??? What should I do? Should I stop and lick my paw? Or should I drink some water and take care of my personal hygiene?

Oh well, but Umi is Umi! Umi is a sweetheart, she is a free dreamer with a light inclination to break someone else balls. Yes, it’s true. She is determinated to bring me up: naive!
For she doesn’t want me to bark to the other dogs working on the obstacles things like: “I do it! I do it!” “Go away!”  “Let me in, I’m the best!”

Umi is a children’s writer and she cannot be anything else: she loves adventure, pirates, woods, cats and dogs. Umi does strange voices, she makes me and the house cats talk, and once she even gave voice to a centipede. Umi was her cubs’s joy, they grew up, I grew up but she still remains the same. TIMG_6632his is why I stay by her side and I’m her shadow. Dogs, when they can, remains where they are needed. As a matter of fact someone must keep her feet on the ground! Sometimes she is a little sad and she only wants to walk. She likes to walk everywhere and with any wheather: sun, snow, rain or wind! It happens, seldom but it happens, that we walk for hours joint by a long and slack leash but lost in our own thoughts. I sniff, study, mark the territory. I’m busy with my own dog business and she goes keeping her eyes to the ground even if she doesn’t look where she puts her feet. When we stop I invite her to play: I bow down, wag my tail, bark happily but nothing! So I let her quite: I know that shortly we will be happy again.

I want to rassure you about agility: nothing is lost!
You can say anything about my Umi and surely she hasn’t a high self-exteem: she knows she is a duffer and therefore she tries to find a solution. And the best solution would be my brother! I don’t add anything else but together we are very smart: like a Ferrari driven by John Lennon!!!

Pubblicato in: Canine English Version!

I’m a lucky guy

OSSI was born in a beautiful cottage in the wood where I spent my time with 8 red, white and multicoloured brothers. My human mentor, from now on called “umi”, came to take me on a late autumn day (her beloved season), when the wood’s floor was completely covered by red and yellow leaves. It rained, the leaves shone like they were waxed and the sunlight gave them warm, bright and smelly reflections. Rows of vines and evergreen trees covered the hills and the landscape while I was looking out of our car’s window. I was not afraid, but leaving my brothers and the human Who helped me to come to the world made me a little bit nervous. I was full of trust in humans, like all the dogs growing among them.

As I arrived at my new home I met two cats Who were bigger than I. We sniffed eachother carefully and meaowed something like: “Ehi anotherone came in!” Then I met my two crazy human brothers and I played pulling the rope and biting: I liked them immediately.

Humans are obsessed by their den’s cleanness and put a kind of abortbent mat where you have to use as a “toilette”. Every time you do it they give you a treat. You can get a lot of them controlling carefully pee and poop.

The human Who helped me coming to the world advised my Umi I should not going up and down the stairs to prevent my bones from breaking. Therefore my umi built a wooden gate: such a beautiful piece of handwork! When my human family put it by the stairs I shouldn’t go up, we all looked at it proudly. When I went through the bars to look at it from above they all sat on the ground sadly but I still haven’t understood why…. they talked about wrong measures but they weren’t! The wood was so soft to gnaw… Thus Umi invented the human lift: to go up-or downstairs I took the first human passing by and I even got a treat! When you say the convenience!

At the very beginning Umi didn’t allow me to sit on the couch (growing up and with the right supports I solved this unfortunate situation) As she thought I wanted to get on to stay near her (she is so sweet) she sat on my pillow with me. It wasn’t bad to stick at her while she was working. She put her pc on her lap, writing and saying: “My next novel will be written by a dog” but I was not offended.

We stayed for hours on my pillow, I slept or chewed a bone while she wrote aloud. What does it mean? See you next time!

Pubblicato in: Canine English Version!

Welcome on my blog!

My human mentor decidappena arrivatoed to collect my thoughts and adventures on this blog.

I’m a border collie, a shepherd’s dog, an attentive, wild and charming predator… But my human has no sheep and doesn’t live on a farm. I was told that apparently she is a kind of a writer and she always brings me in libraries and literary events. What a life it’s mine!!! Perhaps even a scandalous one for a dog of my breed. Nevertheless I decided to take care of this human and to stay by her side. She is not so bad, afterall she cares about me and it’s known that dogs are loyal companions.