Two books, two benefits


A couple of local women have put their talents — both artistic and literary — to good use by producing and self-publishing books whose sales will benefit local organizations.

“My Day: And How I Spend Twenty-Four Hours” by Lucius, translated by Anna Lowell Tomlinson. Proceeds benefit Animal Shelter of M.V. Available at Edgartown Books.

Anna Lowell Tomlinson of Vineyard Haven recently put out her second little soft-cover book about her cat Lucius (who gets the writing credit with Ms. Tomlinson listed as translator). Proceeds from sales of the charming little book with lovely watercolor illustrations will go to the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard, from whom Ms. Tomlinson adopted her muse.

Ms. Tomlinson is 85 years old and only recently began writing and painting. She and her daughter collaborated on a book a few years ago based on a shared trip to Venice. Ms. Tomlinson provided the sketches and her daughter wrote the text. Later on, participation in a watercolor class led Ms. Tomlinson to ghostwrite some thoughts from her favorite artistic subject and produce a little book of her paintings and insights from Lucius.

In the first book, “One of My Nine Lives,” we met Lucius, an eight-year-old black tomcat, and followed him as he adjusted to his new environs. In “My Day: And How I Spend Twenty-Four Hours,” we are introduced to the enviable life of a now fully acclimatized, pampered pet.

Each of the one-page chapters is illustrated with a masterfully executed watercolor painting by the former student of Parson’s School of Art and Design in New York. The detail-rich illustrations bring the viewer into Ms. Tomlinson’s lovely, cozy home whose abundance of Victorian, Oriental, and floral decorative elements — rendered in an impressionist style — make the perfect backdrop for the book’s feline subject.

Lucius spends most of his time in repose, commenting on his world and sharing tidbits of cat info gleaned from his mother. Any cat owner will recognize the postures, attitudes, and insights of a species Ms. Tomlinson has learned to love — and interpret — thoughtfully.

The next in the cat-inspired series will be an alphabet starring Lucius.

“The Boy with Two Homes” by Sandy Pimental. Self-published. Proceeds benefit M.V. Community Services. Available at Eisenhauer Gallery in Edgartown, C’est La Vie and Sanctuary in Oak Bluffs.

Another novice writer/artist, Sandy Pimentel of Edgartown, has likewise been inspired in her literary efforts by someone in her life. She has written, illustrated, and self-published a children’s book with a message. “The Boy with Two Homes,” a read-aloud book for young children, written in rhyme, concerns the young son of divorced parents who splits his time between them. Anton (named after and partially based on Ms. Pimentel’s grandson) learns to adjust to and embrace his unique living situation thanks to the love of his parents and the understanding of a sympathetic friend.

The colorful illustrations, done in marker, watercolors, and collaged bits, have a wonderful childlike quality and a fantasy feel. Lots of creative touches and labeling make the pictures entertainingly busy.

The book has been used as part of a family diversity program at a school in California and Ms. Pimentel notes that it has been popular with teachers and family counselors.

Since retiring from a series of careers, Ms. Pimentel has kept busy painting and sketching in a variety of media and turning her hand to writing. She is currently working on a memoir about a dramatic incident in her life.

Proceeds from the sales of “The Boy with Two Homes” will go to one of Ms. Pimentel’s favorite nonprofit organizations, Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.