A children’s book writer and illustrator in Los Angeles published “From the Pocket of an Overcoat” just in time for back-to-school reading, the press release tells us. The story by Robert Vincent “takes young readers on an animated and meaningful journey that affirms individuality and acceptance through great storytelling.”
And that seems wonderful. But what really caught our attention was the bit about the main cat character, Max Buckles, being based on a real-life kitty carried around in the pocket of a Dallas woman who was experiencing homelessness.
It seems the author’s son, Matthew (who today is a violinist with the Oakland Symphony and Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera) was here attending Southern Methodist University when he adopted actual Max.
His mother Kathy Vincent filled us in on Mr. Buckles’ origin story. It was 2009 and a freezing December day in Dallas when Matthew encountered the bundled-up woman in the Albertson’s lot on Mockingbird. She was sheltering several strays, canine and feline, in her overcoat and asking people to take them, Kathy says. So the undergrad offered wee Max a home. “When Max was a kitten, he behaved like a dog,” Kathy says, “because he was only around dogs for the first months of his life.”
The resulting tale is about “an affable cat,” Max Buckles, and, according to the publishers, “how he finds himself and his way to a new home – moving from the cozy overcoat pocket of Sally in the city, to the country with Farmer Buckles and his other animals, including four dogs — Sam, Tots, Scotty (who isn’t Scottish but is plaid) and Junior Buckles. Along the way, he discovers a true sense of belonging within his new family. As told through the journey of Max the cat, this is a story about self-identity, acceptance and animal rescue and adoption.”
The author says, “As teachers and students head back to school after a surreal few years, this book puts things in perspective and gives everyone a welcomed dose of love, fun and humor.”
You can purchase it here.