Sunday, May 3, 2015


Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain®

By Valerie Williams-Sanchez

Use your smart phone to shop direct from Etsy, or click one of the links below to shop online. 

Hardcover books are available for online purchase from the following retailers:

E-books are available online, via:

In-store Retailers:
  • A Nu Toy Store, 16 Main Street,Tarrytown, NY 10591~(914) 372-7144
  • Bowers Museum, 2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706~(714)567-3600
  • Chocolations, 607 East Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck, NY 10543~(914)777-3600
  • Grandma’s Place in Harlem, 84 West 120th Street, Harlem, New York 10027~(212) 360-6776
  • NEW! ~ Pickwick Bookshop, 8 South Broadway, Nyack, NY 10960~(845)358-9126
     Coming Soon! -- Look for Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain® in the stacks at:

Nyack Library, 59 S. Broadway, Nyack, NY 10960, (845) 358-3370

Palisades Free Library19 Closter Rd, Palisades, NY 10964(845) 359-0136

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

UPDATED -- Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain® is Coming!

Most everyone has experienced the disappointment of getting a bad gift. But, a new children’s book turns such an experience into a teachable moment, and a platform for building emotional intelligence.

Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain®, (ISBN: 978-1-4834-1930-5), is the story of a precocious little boy whose birthday goes terribly wrong when he receives the one thing he loathes — chocolate! Disappointed and angry, Isaiah storms out of the house and into adventure. In the end, Isaiah learns how resourceful he can be, and how much his Auntie loves him. 

The engaging tale is written by “Auntie” Valerie Williams-Sanchez, and features 26-pages of richly colored, hand-drawn images by illustrator Brooklyn Russell. Together, the narrative and images create a fun storytelling experience that is bursting with joy, emanating light and love, to be read at home, school, daycare or other places where kids, ages 6-8, meet. 

The story “features a mixed race child -- few kids’ books do –- who displays a range of emotions, ” Williams-Sanchez said. “Talking about the story can help kids learn to identify their own feelings and the consequences behind their actions, behaviors and choices.” 
Paired with the book’s companion “Emotion Commotiontm” Healthy Communications Workbook, the story becomes an Emotional Intelligence teaching tool that eschews didactic messaging, and offers a platform for adults to teach kids in middle childhood how to better communicate their feelings in a fun yet meaningful way. Such lessons are the foundation of building healthy psychosocial behaviors and emotional intelligence, defined as the awareness, control, and expression of one's emotions, as well as the ability to manage interpersonal relationships.



Now that the weather is warming up, why not come and hear a live reading of Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain® at one of the following locations. 

Pick up a copy of the book or buy a special  event poster, have it signed and personalized by the author, "Auntie Valerie". 

Contact the locations listed for reading times. Additional dates are anticipated. 

April 2015
  • Friday, April 17thA Nu Toy, 16 Main St., Tarrytown, N.Y. 
  • Saturday, April 25th: *Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Pulitzer Hall Library, 116th & Broadway, NY 
  • Chocolations607 E. Boston Post Rd., Mamaroneck, N.Y.
  • Tuesday, April 28th: Nyack Center Afterschool Program, Nyack, NY
      May 2015
      • Saturday, May 2nd: A Nu Toy, 16 Main St., Tarrytown, N.Y. 
      • Tuesday, March 5th: Nyack Center Afterschool Program, Nyack, NY

      * Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain® appears
       Media Inquires, contact: Valerie Williams-Sanchez at (714)654-6453
      Valorena Online, L.L.C., P.O. Box 180, Palisades, N.Y. 10964

      Wednesday, February 25, 2015

      Calif. and N.J. Churches Embrace "Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain©"

      (Palisades, N.Y.) Feb. 25 -- In early 2015, signature Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain© book readings and signings, Hot Cocoa Bar Parties and  “Emotion Commotion” Workshops have brought literary adventure, smiles and chocolate to readers, young and old, through churches in California and New Jersey.  

      Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain© (ISBN: 978-1-4834-1930-5) is the story of a precocious little boy whose birthday goes terribly wrong when he receives the one thing he loathes — chocolate! Disappointed and angry, Isaiah storms out of the house and into adventure. In the end, Isaiah learns how resourceful he can be, and how much his Auntie loves him.

      Two churches: First Presbyterian Church Englewood in New Jersey (FPCE) and Christ Our Redeemer African Methodist and Episcopalian Church in California (COR AME), hosted readings and book parties, introducing children, their parents and members of their respective congregations to this new fictional character, Isaiah, 6,  his family and world.  

      The book’s author, Valerie Williams-Sanchez, who is also the Auntie character in the children’s book, gave a live reading and signed books, posters and other branded offerings to congregants of all ages. 

      “[Williams-Sanchez’s] reading of the book,” said Dorothy VanderWerf, Activities Coordinator at FPCE, “was so personably read, especially when [she] said, ‘that's me!’ That stood out so wonderfully! It was soooo good!”  

      The Author also hosted a signature ICM© Hot Cocoa Bar, featuring customizable hot chocolate drinks event goers concocted themselves during the event.

      The New Jersey appearance was the author’s first such event, held Sunday, Jan. 11th at the church located at 150 East Palisade Avenue in Englewood. 

      California was the venue for the second such event, held Sunday, Feb. 15th at COR AME, located at 45 Tesla in Irvine. The COR AME event, which was hosted by Children’s Church, Featured the author and her nephew, Isaiah, 7, the book's namesake who joined in on the fun, adding his autograph along side his Auntie for the signing. 

      Other kids got in on the act, too.  One COR AME child in particular made her debut with the crowd helping the author to display the book’s vivid pictures to the crowd in a fashion that would have made Vanna White proud. The pre-literate, youngster then feigned reading, speaking aloud alongside the author. 

      Her enthusiasm for Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain© didn't end there. She also spoke up, actively engaging in the mini-demo of the “Emotion CommotionTM”: Healthy Communication Workshop.” She took her moment in the spotlight even further, and asked for and was given a cameo moment on the microphone to address the crowd, sharing how her emotions made her feel. 

      Children at both events were entertained by the story, and asked many of questions, thoroughly interested by the notion of a child who didn’t like chocolate. 

      “I really enjoy readings in these venues,” said Williams-Sanchez. “It also gives me a chance to promote reading out loud by parents and caregivers to kids, something that is so beneficial to the developing readers.” 

      About First Presbyterian Church Englewood, NJ
      According to its website (, the First Presbyterian Church of Englewood has cultivated a long and storied history of service to its community and congregation which is made-up of diverse people from distinct nations and ethnic backgrounds. The Rev. Richard Hong is FPCE’s Senior Pastor.

      About Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church, CA
      The Rev. Mark E. Whitlock and First Lady Hermia Shegog-Whitlock, COR AME’s first family, have lead the church since 1991, according to the website (, which also names the church as the largest congregation of its kind in Orange County, California.

      On each of the days, event-goers took home autographed copies of the book, poster, and/or bought souvenir buttons and Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain© “Emotion CommotionTM ”: Healthy Communications Workshop workbooks.

      To learn more, book your Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain© Book Party or to buy the hardcover edition, poster, buttons or  “Emotion Commotion TM”: Healthy Communications Workshop,” workbook call (714) 654-6453, or e-mail, listing “Booking” or “Buy” in the subject line. Hardcover copies are also available at;; the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, Santa Ana, CA. e-books can be purchase on Amazon, and iTunes.

      Valerie Williams-Sanchez thanks Dr. Barbara Smith for her generosity in underwriting select copies of Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain for economically disadvantaged youths.

      For information about readings in your area, "Like" Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain on Facebook; and, follow @valorenaonline on twitter.

      Friday, December 26, 2014

      Something New for the New Year...

      In this, my latest creative fictional work, a delicate pink blouse is a symbol of womanly beauty and fate. The story (below) will be part of the 2015 anthology published by Visible Ink,  Memorial Sloan Kettering's writing program.  Thrilled another piece of my work has been selected, I invite you to also check out the first, Sisters of Circumstance, and other stories in the collection.