Scruffy Dog of the children’s book “Scruffy and the Egg” was not consistently scruffy. He acclimated to accept clean-cut chestnut fur and a ablaze dejected collar with a agleam gold tag. He acclimated to be Fluffy Dog.
In her admission as an columnist and illustrator, L.A. built-in Angela Sanchez tells the adventure of the dog’s transformation as he loses his ancestors and home, navigates activity on the streets and befriends and adopts a absent egg.
The cohesive, expressively fatigued book, which Sanchez crowdfunded and self-published aftermost year, has a decidedly optimistic accent because its analysis of difficult affairs and homelessness.
The book is additionally partly autobiographical.
Sanchez, 26, grew up in Glendale, area she aggregate a two-bedroom accommodation with her father, an architectural artist by trade.
For a audible dad with no assurance net, familial abutment or four-year degree, the Great Recession was a adverse banking earthquake.
Sanchez was a inferior at Herbert Hoover Aerial Academy in abatement 2007 back an boot apprehension appeared on the aperture of her apartment. A anniversary afore Thanksgiving, badge admiral came knocking.
“At the time I didn’t absolutely accept what the anticipation of activity abandoned meant,” Sanchez recalls. “My dad had lived in that accommodation for 25 years. I had lived there all my life. It was home. To lose it was a big blow.”
Sanchez and her ancestor spent the 2007 anniversary division bent from one cabin to another. By January their acclaim ran out and they landed in an emergency abbey shelter. The rules of the apartment were austere and comforts minimal. They slept on military-style cots a few anxiety from strangers. There was no privacy, no battery and no breakfast.
The aerial academy inferior kept her homelessness a abstruse from anybody at academy except a admiring arch and a scattering of admiral who helped her with her academy admissions essay.
“I didn’t acquaint my agents because I capital to be advised like every added student,” she says. “I didn’t appetite to annoyance homelessness with me into the classroom. At academy I got to be the acute kid. That was my identity. I didn’t accept to anguish about annihilation else.”
On the weekends, Sanchez and her ancestor had boilerplate to go during the continued hours back the apartment was closed.
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“You don’t apprehend how abundant time you absorb in your home until you don’t accept one anymore,” she says.
To ample time, she and her ancestor absolved about Fremont Park or the pristinely landscaped Americana in Glendale, which to Sanchez “looked like Disneyland’s Main Street.”
As they walked, they fabricated up belief about a scruffy dog that had absent his home and the accessible little egg he chaperoned. The characters’ busy adventures mirrored those of their creators. “Sometimes they were us not at our best selves,” Sanchez explains. “The egg would get bratty. The dog would case at it. It was a way for us to accept a anecdotal that captured our experiences.”
Sanchez began abstraction cartoons of Scruffy and the Egg. By the time she and her ancestor anchored Section 8 apartment in Highland Park abreast the end of her chief year, the characters had audible beheld ancestry and fleshed out plotlines.
In abatement 2009, Sanchez enrolled at UCLA as a first-generation academy student. While there she becoming a bachelor’s in history followed by a master’s in education. She’s now a affairs administrator at a bounded education-focused foundation, an columnist and a beginning able magician.
By the time she accelerating with her master’s amount in 2015, Sanchez had completed the thumbnails for “Scruffy and the Egg” and acquired a copyright.
But tragedy had addled again. In 2012, her ancestor was diagnosed with thymic cancer.
“He got to see me alum from college; get my aboriginal boyfriend, who I’m still dating; accomplishment alum school; and get my aboriginal job, which I still have,” Sanchez says of her father, who died in 2016.
And he got to see best of “Scruffy and the Egg.” Sanchez was able to appearance him the book afore it went into production; “everything but the cover,” she says.
“For Dad, my Scruffy,” the book’s adherence reads, “and with appropriate acknowledgment to all the bodies who fabricated administration this adventure possible.”
Sanchez crowdfunded her book via Kickstarter; it’s now accessible via Amazon and at bounded L.A. bookstores Book Show, Caravan Books and Flintridge Bookstore and Coffee House. She is altruistic copies to shelters, abandoned kids and the nonprofit organizations that abutment them.
One of those organizations –– Academy on Wheels –– is decidedly appropriate to Sanchez. It provided her with a calculus babysitter back she was active in the shelter, and it was that babysitter who aboriginal took her to appointment a academy campus. Aftermost year she became the youngest being to serve on the nonprofit’s lath of directors.
Two weeks afore Christmas, Sanchez captivated “Scruffy and the Egg’s” official barrage affair at Academy on Wheels’ city abode abreast drift row.
“I acclimated to be a Academy on Wheels apprentice aloof like you,” she told a accumulation of acceptance afore she began account them her book.
As she read, the kids munched on pizza slices and followed Scruffy’s adventures attentively. They giggled at the Egg’s ambitious “Cheep, cheep, cheep!”
After the reading, anniversary apprentice was able a active archetype of the book. As one little boy thumbed through the bright pages, he gave “Scruffy and the Egg” a concise, apathetic review: “Yup. That was good.”
The adventures of Scruffy and the Egg are not over — Sanchez envisions this book as the aboriginal in a series. Her aisle advanced as an columnist is bright: she’s at assignment on a adolescent developed atypical that was afresh called for a Assignment in Progress Award by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and additionally landed her a PEN Center USA 2018 Emerging Voices Fellowship.
But, she says, “Homelessness is article I never appetite to forget. Having belief that are able to abode these difficult capacity is one of the simplest and best affair you can accord someone.”
Womack writes about art and ability in Los Angeles.
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