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 a PhD candidate in Literacy at St. John's University, New York. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. She also studied Spanish art, history, language and culture at the Universidad de Salamanca, in Spain, as an undergraduate.
A black American, Valerie is Mom to her biracial daughter Lorena, 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 and illustrations, and painting, 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! MCBD 2020 - Book Reviews:
Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain -- a Book Review, by Susan Bruck, Soul Blossom Living.com, (January 23, 2020).
New! Original literacy scholarship based on W.E.B. DuBois's The Brownies' Book, the 1st magazine published for African-American children and youth, (2019).
"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).
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).