The Story of a Seagull and the Cat Who Taught her to Fly
Illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura
Translated by Margaret Sayers Peden
Age range: 8–9; Book Band Y4/P5; Brown B; Emerald
Caught up in an oil spill, a dying seagull scrambles ashore to lay her final egg and lands on a balcony, where she meets Zorba, a big black cat from the port of Hamburg. The cat promises the seagull to look after the egg, not to eat the chick once it’s hatched and – most difficult of all – to teach the baby gull to fly. Will Zorba and his feline friends honour the promise and give Lucky, the adopted little seagull, the strength to discover her true nature?
A moving, uplifting and life-enhancing story with a strong environmental theme, Luis Sepúlveda’s instant children’s classic has been a worldwide best-seller and is presented here with new drawings by acclaimed illustrator Satoshi Kitamura.
The language throughout is a marvel of economy and warmth
The message is overwhelmingly positive; the writing is superbly descriptive and atmospheric and the story has a powerful environmental message – it’s a story to ponder over and perfect for classroom discussion.
Parents in Touch
An extraordinary apocryphal story told with wit, charm and kindness … Beautifully written, this book is perfect for reading aloud.
The School Librarian
My favourite thing about the book is the bond between the cats, and the way they all help the baby seagull.
Daniel Pilling, 9, National Geographic Kids Magazine
It is a such an animated story – all the characters, including the cats, the seagulls and even the human, are so lively – so it was not hard to picture them. I enjoyed illustrating the book enormously.
If Aesop was writing stories for the climate change generation he could have written this spare and wonderful fable.
Tony from The Alligator's Mouth, Richmond
There are many different kinds of families, but this is the story of one of the strangest and most wonderful ones I’ve ever met!
The inter-species cooperation is heart-warming
A must read if you like happy tales, and animal tales!
Nayu's Reading Corner
Kitamura’s poetic, humorous and witty illustrations are the perfect match for Sepúlveda’s fable. I love the fact it's set in my home town.
It’s beautifully written, expertly translated, and Satoshi Kitamura’s illustrations perfectly catch the comedy, melancholy and the joy.
Books for Keeps
Luis Sepúlveda's fable-like story is an international bestseller, and this translation, with illustrations from Japanese artist Satoshi Kitamura, makes an appealing little package
A charming tale of learning to love and appreciate someone who's different
Born in Santiago, Chile, Luis Sepúlveda is the multi-award-winning author of many adult novels and stories for children. The Story of a Seagull and The Cat Who Taught Her to Fly has been translated in over 40 countries with several film and theatre adaptations.
Read an interview with Luis Sepúlveda here