Dulce Rodrigues, writer

pages in French   pages in Portuguese   pages in English







The charm of the PORTUGUESE Language


The healing power of the PLANTS


Portuguese RECIPES


Literary PRIZES








A book is like a trip to a world of imagination and creativity,
and those who don’t read will for ever stay in the same place.

© Dulce Rodrigues


The month of March celebrates Nature and the renewal of seasons following the lethargy of the winter months. March means arrival of spring and rebirth of Nature. No wonder that Arbour Day falls on the same day as spring begins.

Because spring brings with it all the poetry of nature, there is no better period to speak about Poetry. Poetry? Yes, Poetry… with and without poems.

Poetry, in a general broad sense, may take many and various forms, it is not merely a poem. Poetry exists in nature but also in musical sounds, in artistic contemplation, in a narrative. Yes, Poetry is present in our everyday life, it surrounds us, and we discover poetry whenever we look around us with the sensibility of the soul, because Poetry is the expression of imagination and feeling.

What about Poetry in Education?

I very frankly tell you that, in my opinion, teaching and learning are lacking a certain kind of poetry as an imaginative way of teaching. Whatever the subject – either scientific or historical – its narrative can be soaked in poetry. Even the Maths and Science can be learned and taught through poetic storytelling. For Poetry is not in the object itself, nor in its scientific or historical truth, but in the emotional expression of the description, which paints things not as they are in their bare and natural colours but arranged in the colours as seen by the imagination set in action by the feelings.

No one can deny that Poetry is steeped in antiquity and universally accepted, for it were the poets who brought light to ignorance. The philosophers and historians of classical Greece were considered as poets, not necessarily because they wrote in verse – though the metrical rules are those that better express feelings – but simply because of their creative way of visioning the true things, and of their emotional and persuasive description of facts and actions.

This spring, let us bring a little more poetry to our children’s education, for in today’s troubled and difficult times Poetry can be synonymous with Hope in a better future, in a society more fair and harmonious, in a world where violence will be replaced by Peace and Love.

[ Good reading decisons... ]

[ The magic of words ]


At the beginning of a new year we always take a few decisions about what we’d like to do, but most of them are soon forgotten as time goes by… A new year is a trip that has just begun, and during the trip how many new experiences! Join me during this trip, and let’s write together the pages of the present year as we go through the wonderful world of books, and the magic of words.

As you all know, I love children and young people, and I'm particularly worried about their access to reading and education in general. This is the main reason why I created the children's website BARRY4KIDS with stories, games, and other activities for learning in an amusing way. Most of those features were inspired by the stories of my first book for children, the French and Portuguese versions of BARRY’S ADVENTURE that received Honourable Mention at the 2013 London Book Festival.

This featured children’s book is the story of my pet dog Barry, a firm family favourite that besides being an award-winning story also has a very special place in my heart. Barry was a much-loved pet dog who shared our life for many years and inspired children’s poems (written by school children in France where the French version was part of a class project), and the creation of his own website. We’ll never forget him or his adventurous trip.

So, please join your children and grandchildren in discovering this great story… after all, it’s for children of all ages. As said before, this sweet story inspired school children in France to write poems! It's something wonderful! I would love that English-speaking children follow the same example and send me their own poems inspired by the story, too. They will be posted in BARRY4KIDS.

BARRY’S ADVENTURE paperback version is out-of-print at the moment, but you may like to buy its e-book version. E-books can be read on the PC, MAC, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry or Android Phone. It’s available at all Amazon stores. Free Worksheets on this book are available for download to school teachers and parents.

Through my stories and theatre plays I try not only to express my great affection for children, but also pass on to them as well as true values like respect and love for animals, so that Man can live in Peace and Harmony with Nature.

[ The magic of words ]

[ On the way to school ]


We use words to communicate with other people, understand them and make them understand us. But the magical power of words goes far beyond this simple exchange. Through words, we express our feelings and our emotions, we let our imagination travel to the end of our dreams and to the limits of our creativity.

Don't ever deny your children the wonderful joy of experiencing the universe of words, buy them books and tell them stories even at their early childhood. Books exist in all shapes and formats, for every people's liking and age.

Books will bring children knowledge on various subjects, on different people and cultures. In a word, books will contribute to a wealth of useful information, thereby making young readers aware of the important role of reading, possibly also awaking in them hidden vocations and other natural aptitudes that could otherwise stay for ever ignored.

Through books, children get to know other worlds and cultures they were not familiar with. Books are like bridges connecting people and over passing borders, should these be geographic, religious, economic or of a different nature.

To rouse your children's curiosity for learning, invite them to visit my kids' website and to meet pet dog BARRY, Bobbyuka, Benfica and other pet heroes of my children's stories. Let them play a character in any of my children's plays. Children love animals!

Make them acquainted with worldwide legends and folktales, and help them be creative by reading the wonderful poems written by other children like them. And if your children also feel inspired by the animal characters of Barry4kids or any of my kids’ books, please send me their poems, and they will be published as well.

There are stories your children can read alone; others that you can read or retell them with your own words. These wonderful moments will be for ever imprinted in their memories. Make your children discover the wonderful universe of words!

[ On the way to school ]

[ One child, one book ]


In certain countries, in particular in Africa and Asia, life is not easy for children who wish to learn: they have to walk kilometres everyday to reach their school, and sometimes they face a number of dangers on the way. But it is not only children who have to go long distances before arriving at the school; teachers often face the same problem, too.

When I travelled to Ethiopia, I had the opportunity of meeting one of those teachers in a village a few miles from Lalibela. It was a Saturday, and we took him back home. He told me that by good weather he had to walk at least four hours through the fields from the bus stop to the village every Monday. With bad weather, it would take him about six hours. The same would happen on the way back home on Saturday. During the week, of course, he would live in the village.

In Ethiopia, as in most African countries, life is still more difficult for girls than for boys, since girls have everyday tasks that boys don’t, like to get water for the household, very often to miles away. Only after these daily tasks will girls be free for taking the way to school, which means they will attend school for shorter periods than boys.

Either a boy or a girl, anyway, Ethiopian children have in general a nice smile in their faces, and their bright eyes shine with happiness. They don’t live in a consumer society, and anything you offer them will make them happy. What we would consider “adversities of life” in our Western world has a different meaning to them. This might seem a paradox to us, but is it really? Most probably not. READ the article illustrated with photos of children from Ethiopia

[ One child, one book ]

[ Once upon a time... ]


NELSON MANDELA always wished that all children could have access to the wonderful universe of books.

As an author – in particular of children's books – I feel as well the need to make children discover the magical universe of words.

Books will bring children knowledge on various subjects, on different people and cultures. In a word, books will contribute to a wealth of useful information, thereby making young readers aware of the important role of reading, possibly also awaking in them hidden vocations and other natural aptitudes that could otherwise stay for ever ignored.

Books are like bridges connecting people and overpassing borders, should these be geographic, religious, economical, or of a different nature. READ the article illustrated with photos of children from around the world

[ Once upon a time... ]

[ Writing for children ]


...there was a young girl who loved books. Books are source and joy, fun and knowledge.

She was very often ill, and family and friends would bring her books when visiting. And the more she read, the more she loved reading. As for everything else, the more you know something, the more you want to know about it. With reading it’s the same.

And her imagination flourished with stories that would take her to other worlds; with stories she would tell to other children like her.

As the young girl grew older, life changed gradually and she no longer had time to tell stories, but they still popped up in her head and she kept them in a secret place in her memory until a time when... Is it not said that old people become children a second time?.

And the once young girl had again all the time in the world to tell stories to young children! And stories happily came back from their forced exile and enjoyed filling in pages and pages of books.

You might have guessed. I was the young girl.

I hope children of all ages will enjoy my stories as much as I love writing them. I count on family and friends to pass the word around, but I also count on you. Yes, You, dear reader! Remember MY BOOKS are for children of all ages! And no matter how old you are, do not kill the child who sleeps inside you. As the great Portuguese poet António Gedeão would sing:

O sonho comanda a Vida.
E sempre que um Homem sonha,
O Mundo pula e avança,
Como bola colorida,
Entre as mãos de uma criança.

Dream our Life drives.
And whenever a Man dreams,
The World moves on and thrives,
Like a colourful ball,
In the hands of a child.

(in Pedra Filosofal, 1970)

[ Writing for children ]

A new life after retirement

These few lines address all future-to-be retired persons. It gives them the assurance that there is a life after retirement, sometimes much more fulfilling and exciting than when still professionally active.

Personally I believe that the rule for an agreeable and rewarding “career” after retirement assumes three main principles: do what you like, as you like, and whenever you like! And this is more than true when during your active life you had – for some reason that is not called for here – to execute one or more jobs that were in no case satisfactory to your academic qualifications or to your intellectual expectations.

Already in my childhood I enjoyed telling stories to other children like me. Later, at high school, I nevertheless preferred written tests to oral examinations, and I remember that I once wrote a novel for the History course that pleased the teacher so much that she asked me to leave the manuscript at the high school library. Choosing a first university course in Languages and Literatures was not only a judicious choice but also a pleasant break in my routine professional life. Curiously too, even the Science Foundation course I took when entering the university campus for the second time (this time with an English university) offered to me the possibility of giving full expression to my inclination towards writing and foreign languages. Turning this passion into a full-time “job” after retirement was just at a fingertip click on my computer…

Knowledge is to be shared, otherwise it becomes useless. And since I’m very concerned about children and young people and their access to reading and education in general, writing for them appeared to me as a most natural direction to take. I then created the pedagogical project, and a first book was published in French in 1999 (out of stock now) followed two years later by its Portuguese version in CD-Rom (also out of stock). BARRY'S ADVENTURE is the English version published meanwhile.









children website Barry4kids, in four languages  

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