Category: Languages & Literatures (Page 2 of 4)

The Chimona Chronicles kids series released in print format

“Building on all the positive feedback from reviewers around the world, Foden Press today announces the release of their first two kids titles in full print format. Rosie Reay’s delightful voice of The Chimona Chronicles as the critters of Okanagan Lake come alive can now be enjoyed in print worldwide.” 19 November Press release

San Francisco, CA (1888PressRelease) November 19, 2010 – Foden Press today released the first two kids’ novels in The Chimona Chronicles series in print format. Written by Rosie Reay and set in an actual resort on Okanagan Lake in central British Columbia, Canada, these books have already received critical praise from their ebook format. They are ideal for the young reader, parent, or grandparent who love stories of critters that come alive and then have very similar personalities to children everywhere. Younger kids will enjoy the illustrations by Candice McMullan that so delightfully illustrate a few key scenes throughout the book. In addition, a matching website helps children and their parents understand the more unusual words and locations, while also providing full character personas for each critter, all of which have interesting names already.

The first book, How Kelvyn Got His Name, shows how the whole community rallies round to find a full proper name for their favorite gopher. Are your kids fascinated by names too? How do they name their pets and furry friends? Since Rosie Reay is a professional namer (see in her daytime profession, she even introduces kids to a simple naming process for selecting interesting names. Parents may also use this as a fun guide for naming their next offspring. In what has now become a trademark in all Rosie Reay books, a full length poem “The Squirrel from Wirral” is weaved into the story too, along with an illustration of the squirrel walking hand in hand with his friend George.

The second book, Salquin to the Rescue continues the exploits of the main Chimona Chronicles plus introduces the reader to some of the First Nations people of Canada. There are actually two mystery stories weaved together here. In the first, children will learn some basics about numbering. In the second, they will learn how to read signs and prints. Once again the Lake Okanagan kids interact as all families do, even as some grow more serious and some new critter characters are introduced, which we are sure to see more of in future novels in this educational travel series.

Written in Rosie’s delightful English voice, these books have been released simultaneously in the USA, Canada, UK and Europe. Rosie currently resides between Barcelona and Valencia in Spain where she also writes a monthly column for the Catalonia Chronicles and maintains a blog The Ebro Voice for English speaking people living in the greater Ebro River delta area. Make friends with Rosie Reay on Facebook to read more about her books and life. Kyra Dawson is the editor of the series, and she works as an editor, writer and copywriter out of Vancouver, Canada. See

Foden Press is an independent publisher of children’s books, as well as business How To Do It business books and ebooks. They are based in Northern California, and may be reached at Call +1-650-960-0811. Professional reviewers of children’s books are invited to request review copies of any title. How Kelvyn Got His Name (ISBN # 978-0-9710157-0-8) and Salquin to the Rescue (ISBN# 978-0-9710157-1-5) may be ordered directly from Foden Press, plus they are available on request at bookstores nationwide and are distributed by Ingram Micro.

USA: Athol Foden (amfoden ( @ ) fodenpress dot com) 650-960-0811
Europe: Rosie Reay (rosiereay ( @ ) fodenpress dot com) +34-619-772-492
Canada: Kyra Dawson (info ( @ ) brighterscribe dot com) 604-566-1064

Fig -figa -higo-figue-feige or Figs in grammar!

It reads like a tongue twister that I was made to say over and over as child to try and overcome a bad stammer. Though this one is more of a fruity nature of calling  a fig in different languages for Expats. Reading across it goes as: English, Catalan, Spanish , French and then German.

Do note (but not to be preachey) in Spanish the <h> is silent to hear i-g-o.

I did find it amusing when I saw the Catalan have merely added an <a> as a suffix to the English fig. Adam and his fig leaf at the time of first pro-creation. Oh, well never mind I must always tease out the root source in every word being a daft Namiac.

Now I ‘d like to share the following expressions with you:

  • figa de moro = prickly pear or a softey
  • figaflor =wimp, weed, drip
  • figuera = a fig tree
  • figura= figure (as a form)
  • això són figues d’un altre paner = that’s another story (or kettle of Fish -to us Brits) or that’s a horse of a different colour
  • figurar = to imagine, to represent or as in the US slang “go figure”

… and some of my favourites

  • figurar-se = ja m’ho figurava! = I thought as much!
  • no es figura com em va costar de convèncer-lo = you can’t iamgine how hard it was for me to convince him!

Would love to hear other figgy expresssions used in daily speech in any of the above mentioned languages fromExpats and locals and general readers.

Are there any good poems or lyrics out there where  figs are the centre force, apart from the well healed Christmas carol  of “Figgy pudding”?

Look forward to your comments

Fig harvesting Jesús style

Figs are very topical as we go into harvest festival and our black and green fruit are bursting in their fullness in the autumn sunshine.

But what do you do with all this figgyness ripening all together?

There is only so much fig  jam you can make! Figgy pudding seems to sit well on the stomach at Christmas time. So September is a touch early for stodgey food.

Fresh figs are interesting, so too are figs bottled in a dry white wine and (are ideal for up to three months or more)  served with scoops of Nestlé vanilla ice cream. If you are fortunate or crafty enough to have made drying trays you can dry them in the open air through the day and bring the trays under dry cover on an evening and then packet and freeze them.

But I want something different. I want cake!

Oh Yum Yum and more yum- totally yumtious -go on give them a try!

  Check out the these websites below. Let me know which is your favourite by adding  a comment or share with me yours.

Ooh look there are more:  This looks so easy to make too!

Now this is a must for all my gluten free friends (and tempting to others too) to try: – chocolate fig cake

Oh yes, madre mia bake me another one!

Now I wonder if there is a recipe out there for fig fridge cake?

El dia del nen. El dia del llibre

Oh I wish I was a child today!

Today is called Children’s Day around the world. In parts of the Spanish or Catalan speaking globe some may even call it “Festival of books” (for children). I just love an excuse to buy books. How much more wonderful that you give your children and other children a book as a celebration of the fiesta / festa!

Teach children to actually read and digest, to query what they are actually reading. Take for example the heading:-

<<El dia del nen. El dia del llibre.>>

No, I haven’t  written in incorrect Spanish. This is Catalan – the dialect spoken in the North-East of Spain, Majorca and a province just inside the French border. This translates as:-

<<Children’s Day / The day of the book>>.

This week I stumbled across a brilliant online shopping site for children’s books in Catalan that covers various themes with exciting illustrations to boost. I am considering buying one of the theme sets myself to improve my Catalan. Well, why not? You have to start reading somewhere and it can often be more fun than trawling though boring newspaper about politics – all about nothing!

However, there is no rhyme nor reason why you, the parent or grandparent, can´t choose the books you want to read in order to relive your childhood  through their eyes and ears. How I miss those hours of reading stories after bath time to my sons and later on to grandsons Jordan (Jordí) and Shane (Shimbob)!

Perhaps that is why I feather my nest (and empty nest – as the case maybe,  now the children have flown to spread their wings) and write childrens’ books myself.

There are some wonderful famous authors out there doing a sterling job in encouraging children to read through their literary charities. One of my favourite’s James Patterson, himself and his better half, have “Read, kiddo, read” with wonderful suggestions of books for different age groups. They have now also created a smart forum. If  the children read themselves they receive bonus points-otherwise the parents must read to them if they are too

<<Parents, teachers and librarians, you’ve found your way here because you’ve … you the only way to get kids to read was to give them great books, cool books..>>

Let us celebrate today and everyday. Lets teach our children and all children we come into contact with to become ardent bibliophiles. Yes! Along the way they will increase their vocabulary without realising it.

There is so much available on the internet! So when Junior won’t get off the internet trying and direct his / her little cotton socks away from the computer games, to search for book to read online or just to read ! 5 Minutes for Mom Blog Directory.

What is the biggest cultural shock I had when I arrived in 2004 in Catalonia?

There were no English book shops in the Lower Ebro Valley. I always used to watch the W.H.Smith’s new listings and rush for first day release to purchase another treasure. Now we are lucky to pick up a 2nd hand book, that I haven’t read. I still am a voracious reader. So how do I manage? I moan to a brother, another bookworm in California.  Every 3 months I pop down to the local post office in Jesús and pick up a huge parcel of books that he has just read ! Now that is what I call a Result!

So parents, friends and grandparents and siblings please remember one of the greatest gifts you can give to us (young and old and doddery) is a book, another book and still more books. As a child my friends used to write copiously long lists to Father Christmas of  “Please may I have…?” Mine were short and sweet, year in and year out – “Just books would do nicely thank you.”  My request remains the same for any day or any fiesta …I need to read!

La Diada de Sant Jordi!

La Diada de Sant Jordi! Saint George or Sant Jordi in Catalan is a lovable and chivalrous gent who is the patron saint of Catalonia and Saint George in England. Although I am sure today Saint George’s day is celebrated in a far less romantic style in the UK to that of Barcelona’s medieval hero. Barcelona ( and right across Catalonia) celebrates it with roses for the ladies and in turn they exchange them with a book for their sweethearts. This is the Catalan equivalent of St. Valentine’s day

Somehow I would prefer a yellow climbing rose bush and a new book – some chance of that!

Pulling into the car  park at Hospital de la Santa Creu, Jesús, I was amused to see how many ladies were leaving with a single red rose in their hands. Mmmmh…I wonder who gave them their roses? Needless to say mother’s appointment went without any dramas, so we headed off to Eroski.

I enviously looked at all the bookshops who had brought out tables onto the pavements and were displaying a wonderful array of books across them. Some folk just stopped by and browsed, others bought one or two or more. How many admirers do they have? A lady explained. These days you buy a book for every male in your household. My husband has to buy more red roses as there are more women in our home! We shared the joke in laughter and I proceeded on, but still I mused sulkily to myself, I wanted a b-o-o-k!

Pushing the trolley around Eroski, it self-propelled  to the books displayed and aah, right there in the middle of the pile was one of my favourite children’s stories.  I grabbed it and paged avidly through it. The illustrations are just positively delightful.

“Sant Jordi i el drac” – the author is Anna Canyelles and the drawings are by Roser Calafell

Who knows? My next book review may be one of  a Catalan childrens book. Now that would be a novel experience and somewhat of a challenge to me, who is just setting  out on the route of learning Catalan.

Californians Naming Guru discovers HiperSimply -Ferreries Tortosa

Recent overseas tourists were having great fun with pronouncing and mispronouncing Catalan names. We must give them some slack. After all, they hear Latino Spanish  day in, day out along the San Francisco Bay area. Mind you it was interesting to read the log on their slant of the renaming of Sabeco.

Now Mums and Dads with hyper kids this summer may stroll on leisurely down the refurbished and wider aisles of the old Sabeco, with its new name for supermerkat or abbreviated as súper in Catalan. ( Note: when the word is used in full it drops the accent over the “u”).

The marketeers have seen fit to simply call it HiperSimply.

Now “h” in the Catalan alphabet is called hac. Exemples (Examples)= hola, hivern. However, the h is silent. So how would they pronounce it – I -per-sim-pli? Whereas, the Expats Anglo-Saxons would merely say –Hi -pe-sim-plee and not even utter the r in the middle.

It is pleasing to drive pass the car park now and see the vibrant green and yellow and dash of red on their logo. The logo is bright and cheerful. We love it! The green of the agricultural orchards  kissing the banks of the Ebro River, the yellow of the wild flowers and sun-kissed valleys and the red for the setting sun adorning our mountains in teh cool of the evenings  – or is it simply “ketchup red”?

Perfect just perfect!

The cynics utter it is just a tax fiddle! Why? Sabeco and those Sabeco Sambo’s, the old name is tired and what does it mean anyway? Bringing all its branches under the family umbrella of HiperSimpli will be strength and sustainability to its brand. Besides, to the competitors like Carrefour, who seek expansion into a super duper hyper store off the C42, it shouts -“We are still out there in front with you guys!” Eroski have bought into Caprabo and their brand has nowtoo been enhanced with new investment and more experienced European partnership.

Competition is good for everyone.

p.s. Remember to change your old Sabeco bonus point card at the Information desk for a new HiperSimply card.

Valerie Collins on TV on Andre Buenafuente show Spain La Sexta Channel

Hello readers
Valerie we share in your excitement. Wow!Wow! Book promotion on TV just brings amazing results.So many people want to see the faces of the authors before they buy the book.
Folks I have just received this email. You will gain so much from listening to Valerie and Theresa, even if you do not live in Spain nor ever think you will. This book is informative, well written and as you rub garlic into your eyes you will smile and laugh and remember their travels and possibly relate to your own. But most of all you will go away enriched from their experiences in Spain and their knowledge.
” I’m incredibly excited to tell you that I and co author Theresa will be appearing on Andreu Buenafuente’s popular late night show on Spain’s La Sexta channel (Channel 6), talking about our book In The Garlic and our experiences in Spain. The show goes out Thursday 4 February, at midnight, and repeated at 7.30 a.m. the following morning. Later it will be streamable from the La Sexta webpage and YouTube.
Many thanks to all of you who have supported In The Garlic.
Valerie Collins
Don’t forget if you are on different time zones check back tomorrow on You Tube or La Sexta webpage.
It is also on my Twitter this morning:- RosieReay is proud to present Ebro.TV.

An initiative to promote the diversity of the Ebro region and also to build stronger community links has arrived.The new website, Ebro.TV, has been launched as a place to share videos, audio, photo’s, news and stories about the Ebro River Valley and Delta.

This is not just for the English community. This is for everyone! You can write in Catalan or Spanish. Dutch, German and French is okay too. There are certain groups setup already so please join in. Start your own group and display your interests or wares.

Photo Album and unlimited media uploads! Here’s your chance to show off all those snaps you have been taking. Let the world know what a wonderful place we live in! Please invite as many of your friends as possible.

With features too numerous to mention, from RSS feeds to photo ratings and a personal messaging system.
You can even signup using your current AOL, Facebook, Google, Yahoo or OpenID details.

So, if you want to boast about that Catfish you caught OR upload your latest karaoke efforts OR even just put up a photo / video of a property you have for sale, see you at www.ebro.TV!!

And it is all free!

How Kelvyn got his name. Press release.

For Immediate Release

Book 1 of The Chimona Chronicles: How Kelvyn Got His Name by Rosie Reay

Includes FREE Supplement Poem: The Squirrel from Wirral

Jun 3rd, 2009. Silicon Valley, CA: Foden Press today announced the release of Rosie Reay’s first book in The Chimona Chronicles series that tells a tale of critters around a lake. Titled How Kelvyn Got His Name, it is an educational and fun read for bright young readers. It will introduce them to the animal and bird characters as they come alive through both words and the lovely illustrations done by Candice McMullan. Often it will stretch them to learn new meanings, word roots and names, as well as real places and locations. But that is what the story is about, creating a new name for their favorite gopher.

Set on the banks of Lake Okanagan, there are a variety of critters that play different roles. Mrs Porcupine runs a shop, Hodgekiss Drake is the professor, Okando Owl dispenses advice, and the chipmunk twins drive their brother nuts. Boys and girls, and probably their parents too, will all find something to enjoy in this imaginative tale once they start to settle into it. There is even a complete long bonus poem included called The Squirrel from Wirral.

“This story was inspired by a real road trip to Canada some years ago,” said Rosie Reay. “In fact, we actually stayed at the Okanagan Resort on the banks of the lake! I just knew there had to be a story in all those gophers that so confidently roamed the little golf course. Little did I know it would bring so many critters to life, let alone trigger a whole series of books to follow.”

Rosie Reay currently lives in the olive and mandarin countryside between  Barcelona and Valencia, Spain above the lovely Ebro River valley. Surrounded by her own crowd of pets, she actually does work as a professional U.S. naming consultant! (See In addition, Rosie helps Spanish students perfect their English and writes blogs (, articles and marketing materials for the English community in that part of the country.

Candice McMullan is an up and coming young illustrator based in Canada. Young children will surely identify with her drawings when their parents read this story to them and show them her pictures. Kyra Dawson, editor of the series, ( who is actually based in B.C. Canada, helps keep the Canadian details straight.

How Kelvyn Got His Name is available for immediate download, as it is being released as an eBook first. So a perfect surprise for Dad to have on his laptop when junior gets restless during the summer travels.

Based in Silicon Valley, California, Foden Press is an independent publisher of both children and marketing books. Marketing titles include Brighter Naming: Naming for the Average Propeller Head, Brighter Branding: Branding for the Average Propeller Head and Spreadsheet Marketing: Planning for Success. They may be reached at or 650-704-8181.

© Copyright 2009 Foden Press. All rights reserved worldwide.
Foden Press™ and all images are trademarks of Foden Press. Brighter Naming® is a registered tradema

Words, beautiful words…Creative Writing Workshops

Valerie Collins of  “In the Garlic” fame is  working alongside another British writer, Nicola Thornton and have vacancies for their “Creative Writing Workshop” on June 6th, 2009 in Barcelona. The venue is only a few minutes walk from Passeig de Gràcia railway station.

Please contact them for more details on:

This is there last one in the current season. These have proved to be popular and well-attended across the span of the very diverse and different Expat orbit we rattle around in. However, this is only the beginning. Maybe it is too short notice to attend or you have other plans you are sewn up into . Not to worry. Why not ask around and see if you have other friends or neighbours who may be interested in attending one closer to your location. Do not forget to ask other  non British Expats and locals who have a command of the English language, whether they would like to attend.

Valerie and Nicola are keen to explore the possibility of running these workshops closer to you if the numbers are right. Please drop them a line with any ideas or questions you may have.

There is more.

These are very experienced writers . We can learn an awful lot from them, even if we have been writing for years. They always have something new to offer. They have a wealth of writing experiences.

They are also running a very successful writing course (one evening a week) with people from the previous workshops they did. So you are not left out in teh cold after doing the first session.

Newsflash: 3rd Alquimia 101 one-day workshop (Introduction to Creative Writing)

To write or not to write , that is the question?

Go on! Have a go. You will then sit back and think, why didn’t I start writing all those years ago. I know I did. My grandfather didn’t start writing until he was 70. I didn’t seriously take up writing as a career until I was 50- but I had scribbled for years. Now I am making up time!

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