Christopher Anderson works on a painting he will be donating to MCSA as part of its renovation. Anderson’s first book, “Boots,” a children’s tome about MCSA, is available at the shelter. (Sean Leary photo)

Christopher Anderson works on a painting he will be donating to MCSA as part of its renovation. Anderson’s first book, “Boots,” a children’s tome about MCSA, is available at the shelter. (Sean Leary photo)

Children leaving their homes due to domestic abuse or financial instability are being given the chance to turn to a brighter chapter in their lives by the Muscatine Center of Social Action, and local author and artist Christopher Anderson is helping them to turn the pages on their lives in a more friendly and colorful way.

Muscatine’s Anderson, 35, is the creative force behind the new book “Boots,” which will be given to children entering the shelter. The tome offers kids a virtual tour of the establishment through the eyes of a colorful cartoon cat.

“It helps to make the transition a little less difficult, hopefully,” Anderson said. “It’s a terrible situation and moment in their lives and anything I can do to help that, however small, is a good thing.”

Anderson’s book is available at MCSA, 312 Iowa Ave. The organization approached Anderson with the idea and provided him with a script to doctor and illustrate. The book involves a cat who is entering the shelter with his family and it virtually walks children through the experience, making it less daunting on them, Anderson said.

“I’m very excited to be a published author,” Anderson said. “But I’m also excited to be able to help these children and their families.”
Anderson has been drawing since he was a child, and attended Kirkwood College. “Basically the only thing I ever really wanted to do, ever really felt passionately about, was art,” he said.

He feels passionate as well about social justice and the creativity inherent in all.

“Everybody is an artist,” he said. “To be able to see such positivity and do something to help people and to be able to work with good people like the people at MCSA is such an honor to me.

“I always wanted to be a published children’s author,” he said. “But this turned out to be so much more. It feels great to be a part of this, especially since I’m a father. The book is dedicated to my daughter, Chiara, who is eight, and I’m happy she’s enjoyed reading it.”

In addition to helping the shelter through his book, he’s also donated his time in helping with the redesign and reorganization of the space and is painting several pictures for them to hang on the walls to make it a more comfortable and colorful environment.

His book will likewise do the same.

“Art can make such a great impact on people’s lives,” Anderson said, “I just hope to make a positive impact with mine.”

Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.