The Story of a Seagull and the Cat Who Taught her to Fly

By Luis Sepúlveda

Illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura

Translated by Margaret Sayers Peden

Age range: 8–9; Book Band Y4/P5; Brown B; Emerald

ISBN: 9781846884009

128 pages


RRP: £7.99 £6.39

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

    Publishers Weekly

  • 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.

    Satoshi Kitamura

  • 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!

    Teachers Magazine

  • The inter-species cooperation is heart-warming

    Nudge Books

  • 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.

    Axel Scheffler

  • 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

    Inis Magazine

Luis Sepúlveda

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