Queen of seagulls

by | Jun 6, 2020 | Book Review, Picture Book, Poetry, Translation

Queen of seagulls - Cover

Book Details

Queen of seagulls
R.B, transl. Elina Braslina. Birmingham: Emma Press
, hb, 9 781 910 139 134, 2018, £10, 48pp.
Poetry, picture book, translation, 7-11 years

This is a very welcome translation from the Latvian original, a picture book written and illustrated by the multi-talented Rūta Briede, the creator of the wonderful Bicki-Buck series and a teacher of illustration.

It is an unusual and refreshing modern-day fable or fairy story about love and finding your place in the world. Renata is a strange and difficult neighbour, constantly complaining about noise – of seagulls, her accordion playing neighbour – and behaving very oddly by eating the food that the neighbours put out for the myriad of seagulls encircling their building. But slowly the truth about Renata is is revealed both to herself and the reader and she finds a way through love of returning to her natural home.

Rūta Briede’s beautiful Indian ink illustrations really bring the story and the setting to life and draw out the quirky humour and wit of this tale. For all ages.

*This book, together with The book of clouds: poems for children and Everyone’s the smartest, are all published in the UK by The Emma Press who specialize in poetry for children and adults. They have worked with the literary organisations in the Baltic States to apply for grants to help the translation and publication of these titles in Engish in the UK. They are all very well illustrated and many of the illustrators have been involved with the POP UP Baltic States project.


Review by Pam Dix