0 In Your Words

Penny Candy

Wednesday, I found Penny Candy at the library, on the shelf, for a dollar.  I finished it today. It is a fast and hilarious read. Some passages are great, it is that kind of book that, if read in public, will turn heads of those who hear you roll with laughter. And if read in private, will provoke suspicious looks on your family members who will fear your sanity is deteriorating faster than they thought.

Two days ago I was reading the chapter in which she describes herself in a dress made with the same material than the draperies of the reception room of a party they were attending. That is because the author describes herself as too tall and large to fit in normal dresses (that chapter is memorable), and she blended so well, people were looking distressed since they saw a floating head when they look in her direction.

My favorite chapter, though, is the one in which they establish a Culture Hour in their homes, and how they get their sons to read poetry and listen to classic music.

I recommend it, specially if you are married with children. Very amusing, jokes rooted in real life.

(My copy is like this one, it has this older dust jacket.)
0 In Your Words

Victorian novel and mystery

I do not read by genres, by I have lately found several Victorian novels and some mystery books very pleasing. They are:

Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, free for your kindle if you click on the title.
I read and loved it. I how well she develops the characters, and how interesting the interactions between classes, the topics of honor, love, personality, duty. It was a wonderful read.

Vanity Fair, also free for Kindle. I am currently reading it, and liking it much too.

And since I had never read any Agatha Christie novels, I read two which were also highly satisfactory.

There is a Tide
Curtain, the last Poirot case. It was phenomenal. I recommend some Agatha Christie. I like her study of personality too, and there is some logic to be learned from her novels.

A Sherlock not by Doyle, The Seven Per Cent Solution, featuring Freud along with Watson and Holmes, and Holme's brother as well as Dr. Moriarty. A classic for Sherlock fans.
0 In Your Words

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamilllo writer of Desperaux, in my oldest daughter's words:

It was happy and sad, and adventurous. My favorite part was when Edward Tulane fell in the ocean because I was very curious to know what will happen. And my favorite owner was his first owner, Abilene. My least favorite part was when the cook threw Edward Tulane's head on the counter and it broke. Edward Tulane does not love people, but in the end of the story he ends up loving them. At first he is very indignant, and in the end... you will see what.

In my youngest daughter's words:

I liked the book a lot because it was adventurous. It was sad and happy. My favorite part was when he drowned in the water, when the fisherman picked him up. My favorite owner was Susana. I don't really like it when the boys throw him overboard. It feels kind of mean.
1 In Your Words

Alice Dalgliesh

Alice Dalgliesh is described as  "a pioneer in the field of children's historical fiction". We have two books by her that also happened to be illustrated by Helen Sewell, and that we cherish.

 which we read every Thanksgiving along with a few other favorites. The illustrations add to the atmosphere of the book. The color palette is intriguingly soothing.

and The Bears on Hemlock Mountain,

Hemlock Mountain is a real mountain. It lies at mile 29.5 of the 42.4 mile Black Forest Trail in northern Pennsylvania.

 This is the story of Jonathan, a boy with a large extended family,

  who has to gather courage to cross through the mountain
 to fetch a big cauldron for his mom
 who is busy cooking for all the members who are visiting.
The story has some autobiographical elements.

Other of her titles have been illustrated by masters of the size of Leo Politi, Leonard Weisgard, and even one, The Little Wooden Farmer, by Anita Lobel.

I had not noticed this until recently, but the greatest authors come accompanied by the best illustrators.
0 In Your Words

Bartering for Books

We got this book through one of our favorite activities, bartering. I read that Once Upon a Bookshop was open to bartering, and I wanted this book, she found one in my shop she fancied, and the bartering was settled.

 As of late we are all discovering at home that we appreciate biographies very much. The life of different men and women through different time periods, and books like this, that portray the children they were, are enticing.

Christine Price illustrate this first part of Peter Tschaikowsky
and other books on Opal Wheeler's series on famous musicians

I am open to bartering as well. If you see any book you like at my store, and you have anything for sale I may be interested at, even if you don't have an Etsy store, email me with your suggestion at silviacachia at gmail dot com
0 In Your Words


 At home, we have made it a habit to read poetry almost daily. Thanks to, we have discovered classic poets, and have enjoyed and even memorized, beautiful poems.
We have read A.A. Milne, Edward Lear, Walter de la Mare, Stevenson, Christina Rossetti, Eugene Field, William Blake, James Whitcombe Riley, and most informal poetry by Prelutsky; our favorite from him is The Dragons Are Singing Tonight.

We also enjoy poetry in Spanish. Lorca for children, Alma Flor Ada, and to me, one of the best poets and not only for children, Juan Ramón Jiménez. As they grow into teens, I will present them with Quevedo's sonnets, they are perfect for that age.

Last year we read some of this poetry from our Kindle, but as I find some of these poets and their books, and budget allows me, I buy the physical books.

Most of these renown poets, already in the public domain, have had several different printings of their work and also a wide array of illustrators. W. Heath Robinson has illustrated a lovely copy of this book. We opted  for Louise Brierley's illustrations. A contemporary with a style we enjoy.

Reading poetry is extremely easy and highly enjoyable and rewarding, and it can be free. Start today!
12 In Your Words


... announced on Monday.

This week's giveaway book is:

by Ruth Stilles Gannett

For a chance to win:

* Enter comment in this blog
Read guidelines of BOOKS COMPLICITY Giveaways

More the Mother, Less the Teacher
were she mentioned this favorite of ours as well.
This morning, I even prepared her orange smoothie recipe at the end of that post for my husband and myself, though I had no camara available at the time for a picture. I can only say it was delicious.

This book can be read to a child of 4 or 5, or a child, once reading independently, will surely enjoy it reading quietly.
 It is a wonderful title for boys and girls alike. The illustrations are darling.
Good luck and I will announce the winner no later than next Monday, the 28th of July.

*Remember, if you have this book, ENTER, I will gladly send you another title.
0 In Your Words

Tuesday Giveaway Winner

#1. Denzel
#2. Carol
#3. Hwee
#4. Zoozees
#5. Brandy
Number 5, BRANDY

I did not pick you, Brandy, Random did! I drew the winner today because I have to ship some books tomorrow, and I wanted to, if possible, leave the package ready to go.

Do you mind emailing me your address, friend? silviacachia at gmail dot org.


Stay tuned for the next giveaway this upcoming Tuesday!
0 In Your Words

What's on your Nightstand?

This is on mine:

Before I give you details, I'd say that I was not the winner of the 12 Dickens books! Sniff. My consolation: at Forgotten Bookmarks there is one every Friday.


On the left pile, starting from the top, you can see Hamlet. Yay! I was supposed to have read some Shakespeare already, but it has taken me some time. The Folger Shakespeare has notes on the left hand side, original on the right hand side. We don't have to read all the notes if we don't need to, but they are there to help, as the introduction to the play.


Tales of The Alhambra, by Washington Irving. This book is also waiting for me in Madrid, at my parents home. My sister bought it for me. She diligently goes to the used and rare bookstores in Madrid, or orders the books I tell her. I have not started it yet, but the watercolor paintings are lovely.

BOOKS 3 and 4:

Not really a book. In third place is my paper white Kindle. In it I am reading Phantastes, by George McDonald, and El Quijote. I have a nice retro copy of Phantastes, but the Kindle is convenient for night reading because it has a light and I don't disturb my husband that way. The fourth item is my other kindle. Both are always traveling upstairs and downstairs.


101 Famous Poems collected by Roy J. Cook. I read one here, one there, and that pleases me.


Biblia Reina Valera. It is a Spanish Bible in the version I prefer. Under it there is an issue of a magazine called Reason and Revelation. Some of the articles published in their magazine you can read them in their site.

SECOND PILE, starting with the dictionary on top


Merriam-Webster New Dictionary. I guess it is vintage to have dictionaries on this google era, but they are useful. Words are so lovable, new ones are always showing up in the diverse books I read, and looking them up is rewarding.


Heather let me borrow her Three Men in a Boat. I have started a few pages, and it is fun and upbeat. Though I do not mind reading several books at a time, it will have to wait along with Irving's book. All the started ones or at least two, should be finished before starting a new one.


The Karamazov Brothers, by Dostoevsky. I came back to it and I am hooked again. I read se3veral titles in between, and I was at risk of having to start it all over and not finishing it. Highly satisfying literature, this Dostoevsky.


Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye. Very enjoyable. It has chapters with beginning and end. I have read three stories so far and I have liked them. If I start one, I have to finish it or loose it.

Under this book, Biblical Archeology Review magazine. An interesting issue I have borrowed that has an article about Solomon's Temple.

And you? What is in your nightstand?

0 In Your Words

Forgotten Bookmarks Giveaway

I am back into the bookish blogroll, finding interesting blogs and the people behind them. One of these blogs is Forgotten Bookmarks, and you should see the latest giveaway to believe it!

And I thought that my Dava Sobel book give away was quite good.
0 In Your Words


To participate, simply leave a comment in the same post of the Give Away, here at the blog, or at FaceBook.

* Each context will say if it is for USA residents only, or international.

* If I am giving away a book or books, and you already have them, sign up anyway. If you win, I will get in touch with you via email, and we will decide on an alternative prize.

* I will be typing the participants and the assigned number and listing them on the give away post, and on FB.

* If you win, report within three to four days via email in order for me to ship your prize to your address.


I'll announce the winner on Monday the 22nd of July.
0 In Your Words

The Wee Kitten

Have you had a child who sucked her thumb? I have. Like the mom of this Wee Kitten, I worried when she reached five years of age. And I worried because that winter, the thumb looked smaller, and red, and they get this rushes from the saliva, that make them quite disgusting. Not to mention the front teeth that start protruding, and the potential speech problems and the host of horrible things a mother anticipates happening.

To make matters worse, I heard that children, when they go to school, they see others not sucking their thumbs, and they stop the habit. And I was homeschooling the girls, so that would not help. Plus when I substituted for a music teacher, I got a group of third graders, and a cute little girl, when it got to be listening time and they made themselves comfortable, placed her thumb in her mouth and told others boldly how nice it was. Nobody made fun of her. She said goodby to me, and she WAS that girl with the terrible consequences I mentioned. Protruding teeth, defective speech, rotten thumb. Still cute, but I wondered if she'd be sucking her thumb forever, and secretly, as I have heard some grown ups do.

My daughter grew, and at five and a half, after a few tricks and failed attempts to discourage her to suck her thumb, I stopped worrying. I simply told her I worried like I did because her thumb was getting damaged, and her teeth could suffer from it. Once she put her will into this, and she saw the benefits from stopping the habit, it went away!

In The Wee Kitten, the mom is given the advice and tricks we try, and at the end Granny Pig's Advice, to let the kitty alone and stop worrying, is what works for her. It is what worked for me.

Sweet little book.
0 In Your Words

Books Complicity Giveaway EXPLAINED


* I have oficially assigned every TUESDAY for the Giveaway at Books Complicity. However, I may take a break some weeks.

To participate, simply leave a comment in the same post of the Giveaway, here at the blog, or liking the giveaway at FaceBook.

Click to find out about the
latest Give Away
* Each context will say if it is for USA residents only, or international.

* If I am giving away a book or books, and you already have them, sign up anyway. If you win, I will get in touch with you via email, and we will decide on an alternative prize.

* I will be typing the participants and the assigned number and listing them on the giveaway post, and on FB.

* I will announce the winner the Monday after the giveaway day.

* If you win, please contact me within three to four days via email in order for me to ship your prize to your address.


Any Questions?

silviacachia at gmail dot com

Good luck!
0 In Your Words

Each Book Has Its Own Reader

I guess each book has its own reader. And I'm glad for that or when we go to the bookstore sale we will leave the place with broken nails and bruises from the fierce elbowing.
As I'm looking for treasures hiding in the boxes I overhear a young lady by me exclaiming "yes, this one is great", while she is piling up baseball books with players I don't remotely know who they may be.

You can usually find many teachers at these sales that go to add to their classroom libraries books on topics their students like in an attempt that to me, the outsider observer, looks rather comical and desperate.

But I look at them with tenderness for no long ago I was one of them.

The first sale morning I went with the girls. The store was crowded. Even so, with Heather's help, I found a total of seven dollars, at 40 cents per book that makes...a whole pile of good books!
 In the afternoon I went alone. The girls know I always bring books that don't rattle or shine but that hide wonders inside, such as this ABC book titled A PEACEABLE KINGDOM. It has many bird names, for each animal there is an illustration of an exquisite beauty. It's the girls delight, they want to anticipate to naming the animals, and it surely delights their mom as well. It combines familiar names with other less obvious which little by little solidify in our memory banks, slowly, at the pace of the airplanes flying while we read in bed or in the backyard, engraving themselves with the cooing doves, the AC motor and the sugar of their giggles.

That afternoon I got six more dollars, and that's when I found some math literature, the famous ONE HUNDRED DRESSES, and that gorgeous copy of THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS. We tried it before but it also was too early. It's in the Ambleside list, so it will be awaiting in our shelf.

Among my findings, we've been enjoying several titles such as THE GREAT BIG ELEPHANT AND THE VERY SMALL ELEPHANT. Whenever I see one of these yellowed books with simple sepia illustrations, and dated in the seventies, it usually never fails to be a hit for us. My daughters, even though they do not watch TV or commercials, they are twenty first century children, and these books do not drive them crazy at first sight, as they make me even more nuts than my usual. But the moment we open the pages and start reading it they request it over and over, three or four times actually in a week. It contains three stories that compete in tenderness, and the illustrations, though monochrome, invite to be contemplated as the story unfolds. The vocabulary is simple and gorgeous. It seems to me that during the seventies and before then (this is my appreciation and it may be wrong, I haven't researched it in full), authors had no scrupulous or fear to use cultivated words without forcing them, in true context and with elegance. 

I see the topics chosen belonging to domestic life, such as when the small elephant is all frazzled about the impending visit of his great aunt since he is not a cook or home maker, and how great big elephant helps him with the cooking, cleaning, and preparing an outing to the store, a picnic, organizing the visit. (As the words cot and handkerchief come up my daughter asks. I tell her how her nanna (grandmother) uses them since she favors the British words as a Maltese citizen because they were a British colony for many years). She doesn't ask about the word "gay", she must know implicitly that it means happy.

The Great Big Elephant feels down because he is so big he looses all the time when they play games, and how the Small Elephant helps him realize he has different but important qualities. But all these topics are presented without moralizing, in a cute story, simple and rich, effective. LESS IS MORE in these books. And meanwhile I hear one of the store clerks talking about the new ABC for older kids book collection that uses difficult vocabulary in a funny story that is meant to help children to broaden their lexicon and supposedly to write better and get top of the chart grades too, the new literary panacea.

As I finish paying I look at the books which are written in comic style but that try to be more serious books in a literary Frankenstein. I see words such as "assume" underlined, arrows and explanations with pictures that aspire to compete with TV cartoons or newspaper funny strips...This new kid on the block is sold pricey too.
I'm walking to the car with my bag full of rancid treasures anticipating the moment I'll share them with my daughters and I tell myself, why, surely EACH BOOK HAS ITS OWN READER.
0 In Your Words

Prozaic Life

There is no time to waist, and much to do and buy. Everything less than great is not acceptable and success is the only word we learn to spell. This thought is floating in many blogs, the feeling of living insanely fast and precariously, jumping from day to day, post to post, picture to picture, book to book, without the needed appreciation of the moment, the balancing and healing introspection about our purpose in life.

Years ago I read Listening to Prozac, and it was for me the pleasure of listening to Peter D. Kramer, the author, a very interesting individual who listens to many others and to himself. I benefited much from his observations and extrapolations of his numerous experiences with his patients to society. We want to be what the media (TV, magazines, games, advertisement) have told us we should be. If you don't know to what extent our life is influenced by advertisement and publicity, read Deadly Persuasion. Kilbourne's compilation of ads through the years and her analysis of how the media has been shaping how we think, who we want to be, and how they have perverted specially the figure of what an acceptable woman is will have you reading and nodding in acquiescence from beginning to end. Always young, pretty, important, rich, popular, if we work we have to be successful business people, if we stay home, we have to cook like chefs, or decorate like professionals, if we educate at home, we have to raise gifted children, do, get, blog about it... 

Virtual reality is PROZAIC, there is no place for feeling down, for healthy desires of doing nothing, of not being productive. Our new cameras and editors are life botox, and many times we give the impression of being someone we are not, and some days I like that 'not me' type of girl.

I don't know what Prozac does to you firsthand, but many days while I'm doing the dishes I dream about how life will be if I took one of those pills. I guess I won't have to stop and pray, and control my first impulse of yelling at the girls for dropping a jar of capers that leave a vinegar aroma in a just mopped kitchen floor unless you mop again.

May comes then, and I look through the window as I'm doing the dishes, I don't dream of a pill today, I listen to the birds, look at our backyard, our little things that we have planted that are not substantial but yet they are essential to our home. Today I think about all those who want to close their blogs or stop writing and I think I'll stop too. But I can't, I need to communicate, I have to talk. I just have to keep balancing my prosaic life and reclaim its right to exist in this prozaic times.

Prosaic synonyms are: ordinary, everyday; vapid, humdrum, tedious, tiresome, uninteresting. In a way, all these words sound very 'poetic' to me as well. Look under their skin and you'll be surprised. My mother in law lives in Malta. Her kitchen is small and homey. She has a sink where the hot water is difficult to regulate, the flow and pressure are not as great as we enjoy it here in the States. They don't have a grinder and the sink is facing a wall. She has a small mirror hanging on the wall. My mother in law is tall in her convictions, short only in size. One day she asked me if I knew why she had a mirror there in that odd place, if I thought it was vanity the reason. I really never thought about it, I always rush through the dishes. Then she said that if I lowered myself to look at the mirror, I'll see the ocean...and it was TRUE. Don't ask me how, in the second floor of a block in the middle of many other blocks where she lives, if you look at a mirror on a wall you'll see the ocean! She told me to try to look at every insignificant and boring thing in life as a new and unique thing that will never repeat exactly the same. My mother in law knows what Heraclitus talked about many years ago, that you cannot step twice into the same river.

(The first picture is by our main road. All around we are blessed this May with these amazing yellow flowers that cover the loans completely. Every day we pass by is a different view of the same beauty).
0 In Your Words

Serendipity and Edward Lear

Two years ago I met this word and it was love at first sight. I am since then enamored with SERENDIPITY. Yes, I feel words, love them, dislike them, I tuck many under my skin. Words in Spanish, words in English, words I don't know and once I discover them I start hearing everywhere.

The first time I heard "in a jiffy" I knew it was going to be a habitual in our home. That word transports me to the forties, and makes me think of those radio live shows with the Cream of Wheat commercial of some CD's we checked from the library with classics tales narrated on radio. My girls use it all the time, and it sounds funny and cute to me.

His Biography
This week we were reading from A Big Treasury of Little Animals a story about a cat her owner decides to call Pickle since he always gets in a "pickle". And can you believe I had never heard that before? Then today, reading from Uncle Wiggily's Stories, that expression came up again.There are so many coincidences that sometimes lead to deeper connections that I do not know how they happen. Maybe some are precipitated by our searches and choices, or maybe they were always there, only that we sharpen our senses and catch them while they are not looking.

I am sure many of you know Edward Lear, I didn't. I found one of his poems, The New Vestments, and that same week, SERENDIPITY led us to another poem by him, The Table and the Chair in a book we have in a called Stuff and Nonsense.

And lastly I found probably his most famous poem that has been translated to many different languages, THE OWL AND THE PUSSY-CAT, and if you visit this link you will read it or listen to it in many different languages, at the bottom of the page there are illustrations of the poem, and at the top there is a list with several versions. Our favorite is number five, which one is yours?


A Big Treasury of Little Animals (1) A Peaceble Kingdom (1) ABC (1) About Books Complicity (1) About Reading (1) agatha christie (1) Aladdin (1) alice dalgliesh (1) Aliki (1) ALL SOLD-GIFTED (5) Alligator (1) ambleside curriculum (1) angela barrett (1) anita lobel (1) Ant (1) Anthony Browne (1) Arnold Lobel (1) art (1) art/craft/cooking (2) Artist-Composer (1) Babar (1) Babbitt (1) baby (1) Barkley (1) Barney's Adventures (3) Bear (1) Biography (1) Birthday (1) Blogging for books (2) Blogroll (1) Blue (1) Book Blogs (1) Book Illustrations (1) Book Journals (1) Book reviews (9) Bookmark Notebook Holder (1) Bookmarks (5) Books Complicity (42) Books Complicity Give Away (8) books from traditional songs (1) Books NEVER to deconstruct (2) Books to Bond with (6) Boy (2) Brighty of the Grand Canyon (1) caldecott (1) Caldecott Art (1) Cat (2) Chapter Books (1) Chester (1) Children Complicity (18) Christianity (1) Christina Katerina and the Box (1) christmas (1) Dagmar Wilson (2) Danny and the Dinosaur (1) dava sobel (1) David Shannon (1) Dinosaurs (1) Don Madden (1) e.b. white (1) education (1) Edward Lear (1) Esther Averill (1) Estimation and Election (1) etsy (42) Farm Animals (1) folklore (1) Folklore/Hymns/Songs (1) Foreign Language (1) forrest wilson (1) Free Books (3) freud (1) Games (1) gaskell (1) Girl (2) Give Away-Contests (1) goldilocks (1) Grammar-Handwriting-Writing (1) grown up complicity (24) Handbook of Nature Study (1) Harriet Ziefert (1) helen sewell (1) HEO (1) History-Geography (1) homeschooling (1) Idiomas (1) jabberwocky (1) jan ormerod (1) Jerome Snyder (1) jojankovsky (1) Karen McArthur (1) kate dicamillo (1) keller (1) Kenneth Grahame (1) Kindle (1) langstaff (1) leo politi (1) leonard weisgard (1) lewis carroll (1) louise brierley (1) Lucinda McQueen (1) ludwig bemelmans (1) madeline (1) Maid (1) make way for ducklings (1) manners (1) Margot Austin (1) Marguerite Henry (1) Martin Waddell (1) math/geometry (1) Maurice Sendak (2) Mercer Mayer (1) mice (1) Miriam Young (1) Miss Suzy (1) munro leaf (1) My Father's Dragon (1) my thoughts (1) mystery (1) Natural Book Complicity (4) Natural Toys (1) Notebooks (1) Nursery Rhyme (1) Oliver (1) Opal Wheeler (1) Owls (1) Patric Benson (1) Patricia Lee Gauch (1) Phoebe Dunn (1) pictures to hang (1) poetry (2) Polka Dots (1) Postcards (2) Prairie Willow (1) Prizes (1) Provensen (3) Recycled (1) Red Butterfly (1) Richard Scurry (1) robert mccloskey (1) Ruth Stiles Gannet (1) Sammy The Seal (1) Science (1) science/nature (1) Seashore (1) sherlock holmes (1) Snail (1) Snow (1) soldiers (1) squirrel (2) Stephen Krensky (1) Sticks and Stones (1) Sun (1) Susan Bonners (1) Syd Hoff (2) thackeray (1) thanksgiving (1) The Buffalo Storm (1) The Horse in Harry's Room (1) the miraculous journey of edward tulane (1) the trumpet of the swan (1) The Wee Kitten (1) thingumajig (1) three bears (1) Three Little Kittens (1) Trucks (1) Tschaikowsky (1) vanity fair (1) victorian novel (1) Vintage Boy and Dog (1) Walpole (1) walter de la mare (1) what it feels like to be a building (1) Wiener Dog (1) William Blake's Inn (2) Wizard of Oz (1) young adult (1) young adult complicity (3) Zolotow (1)

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