Planeta Willy is inspired by the son of the German illustrator woman and author Birte Müller, who gave birth to a child with Down syndrome ten years ago.
Nobody knows exactly how life changes when a child arrives until he or she arrives. For some people, this moment is as if someone from another planet came into life and changed everything. That is what PlanetaWilly is about, a book that was going to be called Planet Down and tells the experience of a family and the arrival of an extraordinary being.
When Willy arrived, neither she nor her partner could work. For one year, her days were spent in a hospital room, for another, she was offered to be part of a project supported by the government together with ten artists.
In the beginning, she refused, she had all her materials in boxes and only had one thing on her mind: her son Willy. Birte felt that she lived on another planet, that she had nothing to do with the rest of the world, and that while the others were walking and drinking coffee, she and her partner were only fighting for her child. She couldn’t understand how the world kept moving. She could only talk about Willy and the planet she was on. So she decides to talk about this in her project.
Willy, couldn’t do what other babies can; suck milk or even breathe. But the author understood that he didn’t have to know anything or do anything and this is the message of the book. A person does not have to be good at something, he can exist by himself ».
At that time, she only had the paper to clean his hands in the hospital and a pair of scissors. So she worked with this and brought these shapes to life on the computer.
Birte Müller wanted to make a book for normal and supernormal children like Willy, but also for all families. To do this, she was inspired by her son, who cannot communicate like most and for him, images are very important.
In this book perspective does not exist, the author is inspired by art brut or also called Outsider art, conceived by the French artist Jean Dubuffet, to describe the art created outside the limits of official culture and that was adopted by psychiatric patients and later by people with disabilities who make art.
“This art is direct art, they don’t think about the market, or if it’s correct”. Say Birte. That was her inspiration to illustrate this book in artistic terms.
The author talks about her life, how alive they feel as parents, and her daily life, which is heavy but equal to that of any family with children. “On the one hand, Willy is normal and on the other, he is not so normal because my son does the same, but everything takes it to an extreme.” In the book, there are some signs, which are the same ones with which the deaf communicate. and that Willy uses in his daily life. The sign of the cookie is his favorite and is part of his most characteristic tastes such as music or his fascination with cars.
The author assures that finding out in advance if children come with down syndrome is losing the possibility of having a comforting baby, who says “here I am and everything is going to be fine“. When they decide not to have him due to these circumstances, he will be a child they will miss forever. Willy, the one in the story and despite the fact that he can live in better conditions on his planet, decides to stay and not leave.
As shown in the pages of this book, it was an event that unleashed many tears until it became an encounter in which she, along with her husband, and later her daughter, learned, knew, and loved Willy.