the queen of seagulls

  • Author, illustrator: Rūta Briede

isbn: 978-9934-533-80-8

size: 185 x 145 mm

quantity: 40 p.

year: 2017

price: 7.50 €

Renata is a middle-aged lady who cannot stand seagulls – she writes complaints about them to the city council and steals away seagull food which for some weird reason she really enjoys. Then a new neighbour moves in. It's a middle-aged man who plays accordion on his balcony all day long – another unbearable noise for Renata. The worst part is that he sings only about seagulls. Renata's life is now a complete misery. She dosen't know that she is actually the queen of seagulls, who used to live on a rocky island and all the seagulls brought her food. The thing is she felt very lonely there. There was nobody to love. So she drank a magical potion which made her forget everything she was and made her hate everything she used to love. Love is the only thing that can break this spell, but Renata dosen't remember that as well.

Renata tries to fight her misery – she takes a fishing rope and tries to steal away the noisy neighbour's acordeon. The fishing rope breaks and neighbour holding acordeon falls down on the ground. For a minute it looks really bad – she might have killed him. Fortunately she hasn't – only his both hands are broken. Renata feels very guilty about this so she starts taking care of the neighbour. After a few days the neighbour asks if she wants to hear a song about seagulls and Renata says yes. At the very moment the spell is broken and she remembers that she is the queen of seagulls and flies back to the rocky island with her newfound love to live happily everafter.

Author Rūta Briede illustrates books, draws comics, contributes to puppet theatre productions and teaches students at the Latvian Academy of Art. Her ideas, passion  and works as the artistic editor for the 100-strong poem picture book series BICKI-BOOK BOOKS have attracted a new generation illustrators to children's publishing, given new courage to experienced veterans and inspired artists to author the text of their own picture books. This book is Rūta Briede's debut in children’s literature as a text author.


International Baltic Sea Region Jānis Baltvilks Prize in Childrens’ Literature and Book Art for the best debut.