Five Fun Facts with author Karla Valenti

Hi, everyone! Thanks for stopping by. Today, I am so pleased to have author Karla Valenti as my guest to celebrate the release of her debut picture book, MARIE CURIE and the POWER OF PERSISTENCE, illustrated by Annalisa Beghelli and out with Sourcebooks.


My Super Science Heroes is a picture book series for children ages 4-9. This series is designed to introduce children to science as it really is: an epic adventure complete with heroes, super powers and evil villains.

The first book, Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence (Sourcebooks, 2020), uses a novel storytelling approach to bring this historical figure to life for readers, both young and old. Written and illustrated as a dynamic superhero story, this book introduces children to Marie Curie as an important scientist whose greatest achievement was not the discovery of radium and polonium, nor having earned two Nobel Prizes, but rather for her extraordinary power – the power of persistence.

Throughout her life, society and institutional limitations threatened to block Marie’s progress. Determined to become educated and successful, Marie Curie persisted. Marie’s unfailing persistence was a recurring theme and played a critical role in her success. In her super science hero story, this power plays an equally important role as Marie must rely on persistence during her ongoing battle with her arch nemesis, Mr. Opposition. In this way, Marie Curie represents an important role model for girls and boys who face their own version of Mr. Opposition.

Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence is unlike any other children’s book about historical figures, and it is sure to inspire countless young scientists (and non-scientists) as they develop their own super powers.


Karla and I go way back to the beginning of my own publishing journey (we were agency sisters!) and I am pleased as punch to shout about all of her success! Let’s get to know Karla a little better. Take it away, Karla!



* I was born and raised in Mexico. After high school, my parents took my siblings and me on a year “garden leave” to France. I deferred college for a year and my siblings took a year off from school. We lived in a tiny house in the woods at the foot of St. Victorie in Aix-en-Provence, while my father completed some professional certifications. At the time, it felt like a nightmare to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with none of my friends and only my younger brother and sister and parents (gasp!) for company. In retrospect, it was a life-changing event that not only forged an unbreakable bond between the five of us, but inspired me to continue pursuing adventures abroad. For example, I ended up going to college in the U.S. After college, I took a job in a small village in southern Japan teaching English. After the birth of my third child, my husband and I took our young brood to Europe and spent six wonderful years in Germany. I’ve had the great privilege of living in many countries, and I can’t wait for the next one!

* I believe in magic. Not the David Copperfield type, but the magic that comprises the tapestry of Mexican life: dreams about a past you never knew, but which came alive around you in a century-old castle in Belgium (true story); pink stones that you bury in your garden and they turn into diamonds (true story);  reading texts and colors with your fingertips while blindfolded (true story). My Mexican heritage extends well beyond my race. Magic runs in my blood.

* I almost died, should have died, twice. The first time led to the birth of my son. The second time was due to the birth of my son. Life is funny that way. Fortunately, not dying meant the aforementioned son got two additional siblings, who have enriched our lives in more ways than I have words to describe (while simultaneously driving us to the point of madness).

* I once jumped out of a three-story window. This is the least interesting part of that story.

* I hiked up Mt. Fuji at night. It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I swear I could touch the moon. We arrived at the summit at dawn, and from that highest point in all of Japan we watched the sun spill its inky gold across the cloud covering. I will forget many things in my life, but I will never forget that moment.


Wow! Thanks so much for stopping by, Karla, and congratulations again on your picture book debut, MARIE CURIE and the POWER OF PERSISTENCE.

MARIE CURIE and the POWER OF PERSISTENCE is on sale now wherever books are sold. I was fortunate to get a sneak peek of the book and I can promise that it is fantastic! Keep an eye out for my forthcoming review!



I was born and grew up in Mexico city. Since then, I have had the great privilege and opportunity to live in a number of places I have come to call home: the U.S., Japan, France, and most recently Germany. I currently live in the Chicagoland area where I keep myself busy with lots of words and big ideas (both in my job as a lawyer and author).

My writerly self focuses on picture books and middle grade novels. I also offer a Master Course on Picture Book Writing and Editing and Picture Book critique services. I’m rep’ed by the inimitable Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Find me at, Facebook or Twitter.







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