About the Author
is the author/illustrator of the Cocoa Kids Collection© and principal consultant for Valorena Online, L.L.C., Freelance Marketing & Communications.
A former journalist in the U.S. and Spain, Valerie has written and contributed to articles and essays in publications like the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Miami Herald, Orange County Business Journal, Long Beach Press Telegram, Injuve Magazine (Spain) and More Magazine, online.
Valerie is currently studying Literacy at St. John's University, New York. She holds a B.A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s degree from Columbia University. She also studied at the Universidad de Salamanca, Spain as an undergraduate.
A black American, Valerie is Mom to her biracial daughter, Lorena (pictured above wearing a logo t-shirt), 22, Auntie to her biracial nephew, Isaiah, 10, and teacher to countless at-risk and special needs kids, (click to read a letter of support).
Valerie names, among her passions: savoring hot cocoa, creating fine art drawings, paintings and illustrations, as well as reading and writing creative yarns about "things momentous and mundane in the world of chocolate."
Photos by Lorena V. Sanchez ©2015 and 2018.
In Media & Reviews
New! "Valerie's Vignettes Reviews a Re-released Classic and Something New, Multicultural Books for the New Year." By Valerie Williams-Sanchez for 2019 Multicultural Children's Book Day.
"Grandma Mimi's Kitchen" Cocoa Kids Collection Illustration. In HOME, a Rockland Center for the Arts Exhibit (October, 2017).
"Cocoa Kids Collection Books™ Original Illustration
Selected for New York Art Center Exhibition," a Valorena Online Media Release, (September, 2017).
"Three Books All Children of Colour Should Own."
By Mocha Carter, HuffPost, (May, 2017).
"Multicultural Children’s Book Day Review: Chocolate, Math & Cars, Oh My!" By Summer Kinard, author of Mommie Blog: Writing Like a Mother, (January, 2017).
"Did You Know This Is Multicultural Children's Book Day?" By Briana Villa, Multicultural Kids Day Reader, (January, 2017).
The Series Thesis
"The Cocoa Kids Collection© Thesis: Revaluing Children of Color’s Lives Through Children’s Literature.”
By Valerie Williams-Sanchez, Valerie's Vignettes, (July 9, 2017).