Illustrator Layne Johnson made a fabulous book trailer for his new book Christmas Kitten, Home at Last, written by Robin Pulver. As we discussed a few weeks ago, a book trailer can really help lead readers to your book. I asked Layne to talk a bit about the book and the trailer.
Here’s what he had to say:
Kittens and cats have always been a part of my life. I have fond memories of my cat, Miss Kitty, having a litter of kittens behind my bed as a child. It breaks my heart to see little kittens wandering the street, so I can really empathize with Cookie.
When I visit schools, I try to get children to use their imagination by looking at things differently. And I mean literally. I tell them that a kitten doesn’t see the world at our eye level; I then flop on the floor where my eyes are six inches from the ground. I tell them to try and see things from Cookie’s world. It looks very different. By himself, Cookie must have felt very lonely and afraid, everything towering over him. They get the picture and from then on look at things differently, especially when they write.
In fact, the Cookie of the book is a cute kitten that found his home with me – at the beginning of the first book, Christmas for a Kitten. I was able to study a real live mischievous kitten (who purrs really loud, by the way). Of course I developed strong feelings for him. The book project became much more personal and I hope it shows in the art.
Really it’s empathy I’m after. Making a child feel like they are in the story. Making a video which includes music intensifies this idea. You give a glimpse of the feelings and actions of the narrative in a small amount of time. Just enough for someone to say, “I want to read that book!” I was fun finally helping Cookie find his home. Like Dorothy said, “There’s no place . . . “
Now I need to find a good dog story to illustrate!
And here’s the trailer: