Thursday, March 23, 2017

Book Trailer Premiere: The Fleatastics by Lisa Desimini

Hello, Lisa Desimini! Welcome to Watch. Connect. Read.! Thank you for dropping by to finish my sentences and premiere the book trailer for The Fleatastics.

Lisa Desimini: Thank you! I’m thrilled to be here in this amazing world that you created. If I were able to hear about how authors and illustrators made their books, when I was a kid, I would’ve been over-the-moon excited. I’m excited now!

Thank you! I'm grateful you're here. 


The book trailer for The Fleatastics was created by my husband, Matt Mahurin. He is an artist and filmmaker. I enjoyed the process of figuring out how to set up the story and script for the narrator without giving too much away. It was so much fun to see my characters move. I can’t stop thinking about it, actually, and in the back of my mind I’m wondering when I can do it again.

My husband and I listened to 250 different kinds of circus music before we found the perfect tune. I didn’t know that sounds could be layered. Matt used audience cheers, crickets, Boings, park noises and the scratch a pencil makes on paper. Our friend, Andy Pagana, was the narrator, Mr. Itchy, and the dog snoring.

Illustration Credit: Lisa Desimini 
Did you know Sarafleana was afraid, but if she didn’t do what she loved she would’ve been even more afraid and sad, too?

I created the illustrations by making collages. I sealed the paper with gel medium so I could paint on the collages and then scanned them into the computer. The fleas were too tiny so I created them in the computer with scanned paper and painted textures. One of the images had about 60 flea appendages–that one took a long time!

Illustration Credit:  Lisa Desimini
Sarafleana’s family had a hard time accepting her differences. They expected her to be like them. In the end, they appreciated Sarafleana’s talent, bravery and ability to stick to her dream!
I was the only artist in my family and I was lucky that my parents always supported me. They bought me drawing pads, colored pencils and markers. They never told me that I couldn’t or shouldn’t be an artist. My parents saw that drawing and painting made me happy and it made them happy that I was doing something that I loved. Thanks Mom and Dad!

School libraries are filled with stories about every kind of person, place or thing that you know or could imagine. I’ll never forget being in a school library before giving a presentation. I watched many kids stop in to return books and ask the librarian about what they should read next. (She knew all their names!) The energy in there was electric–filled with expectation. I was smiling because I remember how good it felt to have my head in a book when I was a kid. It feels just as good, now.

When I was twelve years old, I was very shy. We lived in Brooklyn and my mom asked me to go to the corner store to get paper towels. Well…they happened to be behind the counter! I started to sweat because I was so nervous to ask for them. After that painful experience, I went to the library and took out two books on shyness. I read them cover to cover and they helped me tremendously. I can sum up the message: Don’t worry about what other people think! Be who you are!

Illustration Credit:  Lisa Desimini
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me where this idea came from. My original idea was a book about a Dachsund. The opening spread was the long snout. Then there were thirteen spreads of body. The last page was the dog’s tail.

Hmmmmm, I thought, maybe different things could be going on behind the dog? The scenery could shift, a day could pass, or maybe we could see the seasons change?

Then one day I looked at it and saw that the body was a stage and on that stage The Fleatastics would be putting on a show–The Greatest Show on Dogs!


Borrow The Fleatastics from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 

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