Melissa is the author of ‘Hide & Seek Hippo’ and ‘Sam’s Shadow Braves the Night’. Her third book, ‘The River of Stories’ is currently being illustrated. She has won multiple writing competitions (from Writer’s Cafe to NAWG) and, during her years as a journalist, written for a wide range of newspapers and magazines: from The Independent to Digital Photographer. She is currently working on a YA novel and her next picture book. 

Being an author (or word wrangler as she calls it) is Melissa’s dream job. She adores meeting readers and sharing her stories, and also supporting parents to encourage their participation in the magic of bedtime stories. 

Before she started writing she was an English and drama teacher who did all she could to get kids to love the magic of words. Standing on desks and yelling Shakespeare, actors who appeared suddenly announcing a crime had been committed, or listening to rap artists were all part of the experience! 

Melissa lives with her husband and two children in Tanzania, East Africa where they have spent the past 15 years. She is a wildlife lover, photography obsessive (cue her children eye-rolling), and can’t walk past a jewelry shop without going in. She functions on caffeine, hugs and looking forward to the next travel adventure. 

You can find out more about Melissa and her work at or follow her on Facebook: Sam & Hippo, Instagram: @melissakayvalente

Melissa’s books can be purchased on her website. Click the link below:

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