Old Winkle and the Seagulls

GREENAWAY MEDAL WINNER – 1960

Gerald Rose, author (with Elizabeth Rose) and illustrator

London: Faber and Faber, 1960

31 pp

4+

Interests: boats, ocean, birds

Old Winkle spends his spare time feeding the seagulls and the other fishermen laugh at him for doing so. However when a shortage of fish shuts the whole town down, Winkle’s kindness pays off. The grateful seagulls lead him to a huge shoal of fish, and he in turn tells the other fishermen. Soon the town is back in business and Old Winkle is a bit of a hero. Plus, he’s no longer the only one feeding the seagulls on Sunday mornings.

A simple story illustrating a big lesson about economics. When the fish disappear the effects trickle down from the fishermen to the girls in the market who pack the fish and now knit and gossip all day, to the lorry driver who now sits drinking endless cups of tea at the cafe, all the way down to the fishmonger’s cat, who grows very thin. When the fish come back, the entire town comes back to life – all due to one man’s kindness to birds. (No reason is given re. the fishy disappearance.)

Gorgeous bright coloured illustrations in a graphic, ‘modern’ style. (Modern c. 1960 that is.)

NB. This book doesn’t seem to be in print anymore – I found a copy ‘reference only’ at my local library and it isn’t listed as available for purchase online (new).


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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.
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