Old Winkle and the Seagulls

I found this fabulous children's book at a second-hand shop recently and just fell in love with the lively and quirky illustrations! There's a great mix of black ink illustrations and bright coloured painterly artwork throughout the book, all created in a fun and whimsical style.

 Old Winkle feeding the seagulls

Hmmm - this cat looks a bit like my fat Jolly cat! 

Old Winkle and the Seagulls was originally published in 1960 and it tells the story about Old Winkle, a lonely fisherman with an old fashioned boat, who loves to feed the seagulls.  The other fishermen, with their shiny new boats, laugh at him for wasting his time feeding the gulls and this makes Old Winkle sad. 

Then, a sudden shortage of fish shuts down the town and soon all the fishermen are out of work.  With no fish the effects trickle down from the fishermen, to the girls in the market who have nothing to do but knit and gossip all day, to the lorry driver who sits drinking endless cups of tea at the cafe  - all the way down to the fishmonger’s cat, who grows very thin.

Old Winkle’s kindness to the seagulls pays off however, and the grateful gulls lead him to a huge shoal of fish near the great buoy.  Winkle in turn tells the other fishermen and soon the town is back in business and Old Winkle is a bit of a hero!

Old Winkle gains the respect of the other fishermen, and he's no longer lonely feeding the seagulls on his own anymore.


  1. Just found you via Gleaners! I am headed off there today to drop some goodies off too! My, I do have a huge thing for Vintage Children's Illustrations - something so innocent and gorgeous. Delighted to have 'met' you! Rach x

  2. Very beautiful, & very rare! I've been looking for a copy of this book for AGES... :)

  3. one of my favourite books