This week, we have a different kind of animal inspired artist. We are featuring Iva Valentino, who is the author of "Black Cats & Ballet Slippers." This prior middle school teacher and lover of dance, is also crazy for animals. I think she's a cat wizard too, as her cat is 20 years old. She must have a magic 9-lives cat potion brewing.
I grew up with lots of rescue pets. Especially cats… so many cats! When I was a kid in Ohio, I had a black cat named Mitzko. He was amazing. He was always so spunky, with a lot of “cat-titude!” Mungo, the black cat in my middle grade books, is Mitzko’s clone. Mungo plays a big part in “Black Cats and Ballet Slippers,” and will be returning in the sequel, titled “The Ballerina’s Guide to Football.”
I write middle grade fiction for girls. The books are lighthearted and funny, and can be enjoyed by adults, too!
My current furbabies are Xena and Lupo. Xena is a warrior catress all the way! She’s twenty years old—and a little deaf—but still going strong. Lupo is our wonderful rescue dog, who will be turning twelve this year. He’s a mix of lab and shepherd and who knows what else!
I absolutely LOVE animated movies. One of my favorites is The Lion King, which came out when I was going through a particularly angsty phase in middle school. I still sing Hakuna Matata when I feel stressed! I also really love Finding Nemo and Madagascar. And Ice Age… whoops, that’s four!
I volunteer for Pima Paws for Life. They are truly an awesome organization! I walk dogs once a week, and I also try to snuggle with the kitties as much as I can.
Side note- Pima Paws for Life is the main charity Outlaw Kritters supports, so we love Iva even more for volunteering there!
Be sure to check out Iva's book here: