A Cat, A Seagull, An Impossible Task…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?
The Story of a Seagull and The Cat Who Taught Her to Fly by Luis Sepulveda is a children’s book first published many years ago. It has since been translated in over 40 countries and there has also been a film adaptation. Honestly, before receiving an email about this book I had never heard of it but the title was cute and it sparked my interest.
I’m going to use The Story of a Seagull as the title throughout this review as the actual title is really long!
The Story of a Seagull has such a cute plot although really given away by the title. The title does pretty much say what the whole book is about but maybe that is something that happened in translation.
Kengah is a very unfortunate seagull who happens to get covered in oil. She’s just about to lay her egg and desperately needs someone to look after it. On her last flight with sticky, oil filled wings, she lands right before Zorba (fantastic name!), a young black cat and begs him to look after the egg, raise the gull and teach it how to fly. Even though Zorba is a cat and has no idea how to raise a gull, he agrees anyway.
What I loved about this book was that even though yes, the plot is cute and will really appeal to children, it also teaches some wonderful lessons. Zorba and the baby gull Lucky are not the same kind of animal but there is a wonderful connection between the two. Lucky thinks that Zorba is his mummy, not realising that he’s a cat and also a boy but he doesn’t care. Zorba looks after Lucky and that’s all that matters. Luis Sepulveda teaches children about different races getting along with one another, in more ways than one in this book.
Not only is race a feature of this book but Luis Sepulveda also teaches that it’s important to help those less fortunate than yourself. Zorba had quite a happy life and a peaceful one seeing as his humans had gone away for a couple of weeks. He didn’t have to help Kengah or Lucky but he really went out of his way to make sure he did everything he possibly could for them.
This edition of The Story of a Seagull is illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura and I think this really adds something to the story. If I was reading this to my daughter I know she’d be interested in the pictures on each page and she’d be more engaged with what was going on.
This edition of The Story of a Seagull and The Cat Who Taught Her to Fly was published b Alma Books on 17th March. I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.