It’s a book about difference. The idea is very simple: Rémi is unhappy in the world which surrounds him. He sees the world upside down. I draw the way Rémi sees the world and his uneasiness immediately becomes plain. The reader can identify with Rémi straight away.
If you turn the book round, you get the others’ point of view: for them, the world is straight, and they make fun of Rémi because he’s upside down (children can be very cruel).
I have a very special feeling for this book. It talks about a problem which concerns us all: who has never once felt Rémi’s discomfort?
It’s a common idea in children’s books (the one who is different, the ugly duckling…) but drawn like this, I thought it had a completely different impact.
This idea meant a lot to me and had been haunting me for a few years. I kept turning it over in my mind without managing to finish the story in an interesting way. It’s when I thought of the stork that everything fell into place. When you feel at ease in your surroundings after having gone through a bad patch, it’s a bit like a rebirth, and that’s where the reference to the stork comes in.
Throughout the story, birds are flying in the sky. Thanks to the stork, Rémi flies too and discovers a new world (he sees the world differently). But when he takes his first steps on the ground (jumping into his mother’s arms), the birds are settled on the ground as well.
This is the first book for which I created both the text and the drawings. Many others followed.