Story of a Seagull and the Cat Who Taught Her to Fly, The
Written by Luis Sepúlveda
Illustrated by Chris Sheban
Translated by Margaret Sayers Peden
From award-winning author Luis Sepúlveda comes a tender novel that has already sold more than a 1.5 million copies worldwide.
Three promises tie Zorba the cat to a dying mother seagull: that he won’t eat the egg she’s produced, that he’ll take care of it until the chick hatches, and that when the time comes he’ll teach the baby seagull to fly.
Taking care of the egg is one thing, but Zorba can’t imagine what he was thinking when he agreed to teach the chick to fly. He’s a cat! What does he know about flying? He enlists the help of his neighborhood friends: the knowledgeable Socrates, the helpful Colonel, the helpful Secretario, and the sea-faring SevenSeas, to help him out. In the end, though, technical knowledge proves only so helpful, and its instinct that must take over. The Story of the Seagull and the Cat Who Taught Her To Fly” is a beautifully written tale of the lengths a parent will go for a child. And with tenderness and humor it proves that truth that love overcomes the greatest of differences.
Luis Sepúlveda’s rich language and eloquent storytelling is here poetically translated by award-winning translator Margaret Sayers Peden and enhanced with illustrations by Chris Sheban in a handsomely produced volume that will appeal to all ages.
From the top of the bookshelves, the Colonel, Secretario, Zorba, and SevenSeas were attentively observing what was going on below. Lucky was standing at the end of a corridor that had been designated the runway, and at the other end was Socrates, bent over volume twelve, letter L of the encyclopedia. It lay open to one of the pages devoted to Leonardo Da Vinci, where there was an illustration of a strange contraption the great Italian master had called a “flying machine.”
“If you please,” directed Socrates. “First we must confirm the stability of points of support A and B.”
“Testing points of support A and B,” Lucky repeated, jumping first on her left foot and then on the right.
“Perfect. Now we will test the extension of points C and D,” meowed Socrates, who felt as important as an engineer for NASA.
“Testing extension of points C and D,” obeyed Lucky, extending her wings.
“Perfect!” approved Socrates. “Let us repeat that once more.”
“Whistlin’ walrus whiskers!” yowled SeavenSeas. “Just let the girl fly!”
“Let me remind you that I am the technician responsible for this flight!” Socrates rejoined. “Every aspect must be fully checked or else the consequences could be dreadful for Lucky. Dreadful!”
“[A} charming tale of devotion, courage and the importance of keeping one’s word. … With shades of the friendship between a spider named Charlotte and a pig named Wilbur, the relationship between Zorba and Lucky … explores fundamental questions of life and death, and following one’s calling. … The language throughout, translated by Peden, is a marvel of economy and warmth, and Sheban’s delicate charcoal and pastel illustrations heighten the sense of magic… Readers will hope for the further adventures of these two unlikely friends.” – Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
“Characters are distinctly drawn and diverse: Lucky the chick who embraces her gifts and her unusual feline family; Einstein the cat who worships the encyclopedia; and, of course, Zorba, courageous and tender. Simple language sensitively conveys the characters and events; and themes embracing respect for the environment, family diversity, and compassion are effectively conveyed both through dramatic episodes and character-driven comedy. Black-and-white illustrations expressively portray the characters and settings, adding another element to an entertaining, thought-provoking story.” – Booklist
Society of Illustrators Gold Medal
Parenting Media Award Winner
Children’s BookSense 76 Selection
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Middle Grade Novel
Trim Size: 6” x 9”
Page Count: 144
Foreign Rights: Scholastic
Translation Rights: Scholastic
Rights Available? yes
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