One morning, Valentina spots something strange: a monster selling cotton candy on her street. But Valentina isn’t scared. This monster is friendly and has pink, fluffy fur—perfect for hugs. Valentina and Monster quickly become friends, but tragedy soon arrives. This story of loss and grief shows how to hold onto the love from others long after they are gone.
Ángeles Ruiz was born in Barcelona, Spain, on a cold winter night. When she was a child, reading was her favorite subject at school. That was where her passion for creating magical stories and picture books started. Her mom was an artist who painted landscapes on canvas. She dearly remembers playing and painting in her mom’s studio surrounded by paintbrushes and paint tubes. Ángeles paints with both traditional and digital brushes using textures and colors in her work to evoke magical environments and emotions. She has illustrated several books for children, including The Lost Kitten by Leyla Torres and A Zombie Vacation by Lisa Rose. Valentina and Monster is the first children’s book she both wrote and illustrated. She lives with her husband, her little daughter, and a gray and white cat named Gus in a red brick house in front of the forest near the Mediterranean Sea. When not illustrating, she loves to explore nature, go to the library, and spend time with her family.
★ A delicate, devastating story about living with loss – Kirkus Starred Review
A heartwarming tale of a little girl, chalk-white and with flaming orange hair, who has to adjust to a loss in her life. Valentina, who suffers from nightmares, comes out of her house and spots a monster selling beautiful smelling bright pink cotton candy. They quickly become friends. When the clouds are gray she visits Monster in the forest where he and the other animals have dinner parties. Valentina and Monster enjoyed each other’s company. Their friendship blossoms. But one day Monster does not answer her calls, and the other animals comfort her: “We leave this world to start a new journey. It was Monster’s time to journey on.” By remembering the love of Monster for her, Valentina is able to put to rest her nightmares, and when she has a child of her own, there is a sense that Monster is out there, somewhere, watching her. The art is the centerpiece of this tale; the imagery of bright colors to dark grays capture the essence of the story. It’s a simple message, but fully resonant as it covers the passage of grief.