Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas - Puffin Post Volume 1 No. 4

This cover has always been one of my favorites. It has been said to me that Jill McDonalds work has something of the stained glass window about it - and I think this is particularly true of this picture. If I can find some time away from the kids over Christmas, I will post some little bonus pictures to raise a smile.

To all of you who have contacted me this year I would like to offer my thanks for your words of support - It makes it all worthwhile.

A particular thanks must go to Ruth for sharing her collection - it's been a real treat!

Merry Puffin Christmas!

Friday, 19 December 2008

Father Christmas 2 - the back view

Here is the promised back cover. It's a lovely composition by itself - and that is how I think it should be seen.

For those who still don't believe me, here is a 'spread' of the whole cover - you can see the broken perspective on the floor tiles.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Christmas is coming!!! Vol. 7 No. 4

Ho ho hum! Here is the first of the Christmasy (!?) covers/pictures for this season. I know that this Raymond Briggs cover is one of the big favorites. Many puffineers remember this as having a wrap-around cover - but I'm afraid it didn't! The perspective just doesn't line up - It's still very nice though!! I will post the back cover and a mini spread to prove the point.

I hope to post a regular selection over the twelve days of christmas (Children allowing!).

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Puffin Post no.1 back cover

Here it is! The final installment of the first copy of Puffin Post. The answers to the picture quiz will put some of you out of your misery - it wasn't easy! Some of the titles have been out of print for some time!

The cheery band of puffins are singing what was to become the first verse of the the Puffin Song, which has further verses and a score that was shared with early puffineers. If I can get round to it, I'll post that as well. (It's a bit cheesy, but very much of its time) If someone out there is musically minded, they might like to try and record it - or not.

Coming up in the final Tuesdays before Christmas, I will post some seasonal covers and/or illustrations to cheer us up in these hard times!

Once again, a big thank you to Ruth for sharing her archive with us - it's been a joy to breathe new life into these little gems!

Image from the collection of Ruth - Founder member 1487 - Restored S. Hassan Dec 2008

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

...and now I do requests!

A little while ago, I had a lovely email from an old puffineer who was kind enough to tell me a little of her affection for the club and also asked if I had a copy of Puffin Post with her in it. The clues were a bit cryptic, but I vaguely remembered the picture and went in search.

Anyway, here it is Candida! I hope it was worth the wait!

This is a picture of Candida with Bernard Cribbins at the 9th Puffin Show in 1976. The Robot was made by Candida and her sister (although her sister was too big to fit in it!).

It's fitting that I should put up a picture of Bernard, as he is just approaching his 80th birthday! Many Happy Returns on the day!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Puffin Post no.1 pages 13 and 14

Not a lot to add to this! Apart from opportunity to see the pre-TV animation artwork of Paddington. It's easy to forget that Paddington and the other famous furry animated figures, the Wombles, both had a a very different look before they made it onto the small screen.

If you can find a copy of the original versions of these classic books, you are going to be surprised.

I had to order a copy of the first Wombles book when I attended Primary school (from the Red House Book shop as I recall) - I expected the familiar faces from my teatime viewing! What a shock!! A load of teddy bears!!

Since posting this, I received a comment that I felt I had to share - "The book '22 Letters' obviously had a big budget! A trip to the Mediterranean! What were they paying him?" I'm afraid I have no idea - but at that time (though it may be hard to believe for younger readers) Lebanon was the playground of the rich and famous. As a young child I knew Beirut during the early '70's, and even though we were under constant threat of attack from all factions, it was still a very glamorous place to be, with an amazing sense of its ancient history present in every day life.
I like to think that a budget was found to allow the illustrations to be researched in this way - it couldn't happen today!

Image from the collection of Ruth - Founder member 1487 - Restored S. Hassan Dec 2008

Monday, 24 November 2008

Puffin Post no.1 pages 11 and 12

Slightly ahead of schedule again! This is the first part of a really nice article that is particularly of interest to visual artists - it's not often that you can get an insight into how an artist works (well alright, Quentin Blake was on BBC4 recently talking to Mark Lawson, but that was a rare insight! You can't count SMart any more, thanks to the BBC decision not to screen anything featuring Mark Speight ever again - don't get me started!!)

Anyway, back to business: This is the longest of the features in this first copy of Puffin Post. It certainly paved the way for future features. The only thing that is missing is the call for young readers to send in examples of their own work! I actually miss it!

Image from the collection of Ruth - Founder member 1487 - Restored S. Hassan Nov 2008

Friday, 21 November 2008

A little treat...

I know that the serialisation of the first Puffin Post is quite exciting for Puffinophiles (is that a word?!), but I thought that it would be nice to post one of those throwaway images that Jill used to produce for all kinds of communication that were sent to the Puffin Club members.

I think it's a charming little illustration - it's from a folded sheet that had a load of competitions - the six star prizes being a Puffin Holiday (that normally cost £30.00 - this was in 1974!)

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Puffin Post no.1 pages 9 and 10

Here are the rest of the pictures to identify from last week - I'm afraid the answers are on the last page, so you'll have to wait to see if you've got them right.

Image from the collection of Ruth - Founder member 1487 - Restored S. Hassan Nov 2008

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Puffin Post no.1 pages 7 and 8

Here is the correspondents page - well, letters to Kaye that became the first letters to Puffin Post. The comments could have been made yesterday! (Apart from the lack of reference to the internet, mobile phones and JK Rowling!). The facing page is the first of three pages to tease and test the avid reader of 1966. Can you identify who the first three are?

I'm pleased to say that I scored rather well, as did my daughters.

Image from the collection of Ruth - Founder member 1487 - Restored S. Hassan Nov 2008

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Puffin Post no.1 pages 5 and 6

It's only been a couple of days, but this one was very easy to prepare. Here is the very first author 'profile' article. This is a lot of fun for a tiny piece.

I remember the days when Harry Potter didn't grace our shelves - the only books of magic that made the 'hot list' were by the likes of Alan Garner, Susan Cooper (Dark is Rising Sequence) and Tolkien.

As a little aside, it seems strange today to know that Kaye Webb's predecessor, Eleanor Graham, rejected The Hobbit as she thought children wouldn't be interested! It was probably a sign that it was time for someone new to take the reins! Kaye spotted Stig of the Dump, which had been rejected by the other publishing houses (and it's still in print!).

Image from the collection of Ruth - Founder member 1487 - Restored S. Hassan Nov 2008

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Puffin Post no.1 pages 3 and 4

Slightly earlier than planned - here are pages 3 and 4! Of course, now that we have digital presses and (almost) everything is computerised, things have changed slightly. It's funny to have a Puffin Post without the presence of Jill McDonald on every page - but important none the less.

For those who are interested, the first Puffin Post was only 10.5cm x 7cm - the same size as the old membership books!

Image from the collection of Ruth - Founder member 1487 - Restored S. Hassan Nov 2008

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Puffin Post no.1 pages 1 and 2

Here are the promised first pages of Puffin Post number 1 (in fact I don't think it can really be said to have a number, but I have to call it something). It's wonderful to read Kaye's words in the light of the rebirth of the club. It's very poignant considering the upcoming 70th anniversary of Puffin books.

Image from the collection of Ruth - Founder member 1487 - Restored S. Hassan Oct 2008

Thursday, 23 October 2008

How rare is this?

Very rare! This is the cover of the very first Puffin Post - pre Puffin Club - which was circulated in selected books in 1966. We are very lucky that Ruth saved this amazing piece of history. As you would expect, it hasn't escaped some wear and tear, but it has been kept very well and restoring this has proved less eye-crossing than most.

To view the ENTIRE contents of this slice of Puffinalia, return to this blog in the weeks leading up to Christmas and I will endeavour to get it posted fairly regularly.

Thanks again Ruth!

Image from the collection of Ruth - Founder member 1487 - Restored S. Hassan Oct 2008

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Something a bit Blakey...

Here's a fabulous double page from Quentin Blake that illustrates the slightly off-beat humour that ran through the club. It's wonderfully subversive. I love his Puffins - they are more acerbic than Jill McDonalds, but still have the same questioning spirit.

This was first published in the pages of Puffin Post Volume 7 No.1

Monday, 20 October 2008

What's wrong with me - another Puffin Envelope!

This is a lovely example of the earlier envelope graphics that sported the coloured paper. It doesn't have the flamboyant look of the later envelopes, but it has such charm a playfulness about it that I can see why it was saved.

This is the only example of the early graphic that I have seen (I only ever received the later envelopes when I was a member) I would love to see any other examples if any of you out there would like me to work my restorers art on them.

Image from the collection of Ruth - Founder member 1487 - Restored S. Hassan Oct 2008

Yet more coverage in the Press!

... and the new club has the seal of approval from Madonna! It's official - it's in the Telegraph!

I like to think that it means that more children will have the opportunity to find pleasure in something that doesn't have a screen or go 'beep'!

I was interviewed by James Vaughan, the author of the piece, to give some background as an old member of the club and my views on its future. It was a pleasant experience and I feel optimistic about the future for the new Puffineers. Before anyone thinks I am benefiting from all this press attention - I've done it all for free! If it gets a few kids reading, it'll be worth it.

link to the Telegraph article

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Another winter envelope...

Another of Ruth's collection - I promise I will get back to the restoration of covers soon. This is so nice, I was almost tempted to make this my blog entry for Christmas, but I'm sticking to plan A, and give you one of my all-time favourite covers.

Image from the collection of Ruth - Founder member 1487 - Restored S. Hassan Oct 2008

Friday, 10 October 2008

The next time you tear open that envelope...

...you might want to think again! This is another image from Ruth's collection. These wonderful one colour pictures were printed on the envelopes that contained the precious copies of Puffin Post when they landed on your doormat. It certainly left you in no doubt as to what had arrived.

As always, these were drawn by Jill McDonald. Having now seen some examples of Jill's original work, I have begun to get an idea of how she worked. All of the beautiful line drawings that appeared in Puffin Post appear to have been drawn without guide pencil lines and drafted straight onto what looks like layout paper. Those of you with a background in old fashioned graphic art will know what that means! However she worked, I have yet to find a piece of her work that isn't beautifully proportioned and carefully considered.

Thanks Jill!

Image from the collection of Ruth - Founder member 1487 - Restored S. Hassan Oct 2008

Thursday, 2 October 2008

A Real Treat!!!

Dear Blog readers, I am so pleased to say that one of you has been in touch with me and very kindly sent a set of scans from her beautifully preserved collection. Ruth has kept some unbelievably rare items - I hope I will be able to share them with you after I have lavished care and attention on their digital restoration.

What a nice way to start the October posts!

Here is the cover from the 1969 Puffin Readers Diary - Thank you Ruth!

From the collection of Ruth - Founder Member 1487

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

A Flight of Puffins... (an obscure joke I'm afraid)

Dear Blog reader, I must apologise for the lack of posting for the last week - it really has been a bit busy. What I can promise you is a Halloween special with some of my favourite Autumn covers. In the mean time, please enjoy a lovely throwaway decoration that festooned the walls and ceilings of the Commonwealth Institute at the Puffin Exhibition.

At the end of the show I saw them being pulled off the walls and stuffed into rubbish bins. This horrified me, even at a tender age, and I asked Kaye Webb if I could take one home. The pink one lived blu-tacked to my wall until it found its way to the safety of my portfolio - as far as I know it's the only one left.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

The Puffin Post Relaunch

eptember is on the way out and so is the ultra brief Indian summer.

Here I am back from the newly relaunched and re imagined Puffin Post party. I'm glad to say that it has retained the spirit of the old, whilst made it accessible for today's kids - and what a lot of kids there were!!
I'm sure that there will be coverage in the press about the party, but it included all of the elements that were around in the old Puffin Parties and Exhibitions. I think Kaye would have been very pleased.

I also did my bit talking about the clubs old and new on BBC Three Counties Radio with author Jeremy Strong. For some reason, the listen again facility for the show hasn't been updated for over a week - The nice people at BBC Three Counties Radio have told me they are looking into it. As far as I can tell, it went very well. I'd be interested to know if any of you heard it.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Puffin Thinkbook - The Return!!

Well, I finally did it! I mentioned in my earlier blog entry that I would attempt to tun my Moleskine sketchbook into a Thinkbook - It worked! This is my old Thinkbook from 1979 with the new improved model of 2008. Now my kids are bugging me for one as well! Talk about making a rod for my own back!

Friday, 19 September 2008

Puffin Post Vol.2 no.4 - Wait a tick, this looks familiar!!!

Those of you keeping up with events will recognise this image - the new Puffin Post has snipped Jills artwork out of this and updated the background. I must admit I have a soft spot for decoupage, and 1968 was a very good year for it on the covers of Puffin Post.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Radio 4 are on the case

For those who might be interested...

The Today Program on BBC Radio 4 had a small item at the end of the show about the launch of the new Puffin Post. Listen again will be available till Friday 26 September 2008. The Gallery of covers will probably survive for much longer.

Today programme link



Another little treat for you. This is the original Puffin Club bookplate design. You would get a sheet of eight of these on pre-gummed paper. I think this has a lovely old school charm about it. It certainly felt like your books were safer when you lent them to friends (didn't stop them from getting scuffed to hell though - you know who you are!!!!)

The new Puffin Post club has revived this design with a lot of colour and the addition of their puffin mascot - as yet unnamed.

Puffin Club? Puffin Post? What's the difference?

I have to admit I'm a bit of a pedant when it comes to history - it comes from working in Film restoration and in the media. There's a lot of revisionist thinking out there (re-writing of history).

So what was the 'Puffin Club' (not Puffin Post)? Well here's a great little explanation by Kaye Webb herself, writing in the Puffin Diary of 1979:

The new club is called 'Puffin Post' - not the 'Puffin Club'. The club is now the schools entity. I suppose this makes it easier to differentiate between the two. I can't help feeling this may confuse a few of us older members, but I have to remind you - 'It's not for us! It's for our kids!'

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Another stamp

Yes indeedy, it's one of the few autographs I have bothered to get in my life - and it's a good one! This is one of three autographs I got from Kaye Webb - The other ones are in 'The Puffin Joke Book' and 'I Like this Poem'. You can see this image used again in one of my earlier postings used as the cover of the 'The most gigantic tiny notebook in the world' (a new version of which will be included in the new club members pack - not by Jill McDonald though!)

A Puffin Explorer

Goodness! What's got into me, more than one post in a week! This was a lovely rubber stamp that I vaguely remember being stamped onto the back of the hand of visitors to the 12th exhibition. I asked nicely if I could have one stamped into my Puffin Thinkbook - and I got it!

This was one of a whole set of Jill McDonald designs that appeared on button badges that were also doled out - yes, you guessed it, I'm going to post these as well.

Nice new things....

Well folks, I have just received my preview copies of the new Puffin Post - It has a bit of the old and lots of the new.

Sad to say, Fat Puffin is now officially deceased - as is Odway! TOMCAT has lost his steam powered looks and is now a more conventional PC. To be philosophical about it, however fond I am of the old characters and style of the old, the new generation needs something to be theirs and theirs alone.

I think it will be nice to have the club back for a new batch of puffineers. For those of you who find your way here after the launch - I plan to continue my trawl through the old puffin club ephemera for old times sake.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Another sticky thing...

One of the better preserved exhibition stickers - not by Jill McDonald, and I'd love to know who did do it! This was a brilliant event that for the time was pretty epic. I still remember the twelfth show as being something pretty special.

I met Spike Milligan at this show and had my hero worship bruised by his confusion and anger that a Half-Irish boy could have an Islamic name. He is still a hero to me, and I have come to understand his views - however uncomfortable they make me feel - RIP Spike - Greatly missed.

Puffin Thinkbook

How many of you have one of these? This is the full spread artwork of the Puffin Thinkbook - designed, as always, by Jill McDonald. These blank paperback books were given away as prizes for competitions, and more importantly, on sale to members at some of the Puffin Exhibitions. That's where I bought my copies.

I must have had a premonition that I would need a pristine copy to use nearly a quarter of a century later, because I kept one copy back from scribbles.

The spine of the book is the fountain pen which wraps around nicely. I've been toying with the idea of laser printing the design onto Duralabels and sticking it onto my Moleskine notebook - I think it would look pretty smart!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

A little bit of news...

Not a picture this time, just news.

I've been asked to go on BBC Three Counties Radio on Ernie Almonds show (?) to talk about the Puffin Club and the the upcoming new club 'Puffin Post' - it looks like it might be fun! If I can wangle the listen again facility for local radio I'll put the link up for those of you who may be interested.
Also on the show will be the well known childrens author, Jeremy Strong (www.jeremystrong.co.uk - with a slightly annoying sound effect on every page, but worth visiting!)

It's on Monday 22nd September 2008, at 14.05 (or 2.05pm in old money), which happens to coincide with the relaunch of Puffin Post in London that evening!

Friday, 15 August 2008

Bound and unbound...

Here's a little bit of restoration with a twist - the graphic from the front of the Puffin Post Binder. Old Members will remember that it was shiny metallic gold on a slightly textured red or, later on, pink vinyl folder. This photographed (and scanned) very badly, so I elected to extract it and recreate the look. Isn't it lovely!!

I remember taking exception to the club colour being pink, but looking back through slightly rose coloured glasses, I'm actually quite fond of it now.

For those who are unaware - the classic Penguin book spines were orange (a sign of a dyed-in-the-wool intellectual was a bookshelf bursting with orange spines that were all creased through heavy reading).
Puffin books had a pink spine (except for the wrap-around covers, or those whose artwork demanded a certain coordination) - I'm sure it seemed only natural that the club colour should echo this. As a child my own complete collection of Dr Dolittle books made a big band of unbroken pink on my bookshelves. This helped me get over my pink aversion - just as well considering that I now have two daughters!

The current Puffin spine colour is of course yellow, but whether a future Puffin Club would embrace the colour convention is anybody's guess.

Monday, 4 August 2008

No images for a while...

Dear blog reader (if you are actually there!!)

There has been a break in service due to lots of work that had to be done, and a Cambridge folk festival that had to be attended. (I'd also run out out of previously finished restoration projects)

To make up for it, here is a Quentin Blake cartoon that was destined for one of the Puffin Annuals. Sadly, there just wasn't enough room, but it was printed in the pages of Puffin Post - never to be seen again!!!

Professor Blake did many cartoons and mini strips for the Puffin Club and was almost as much a part of the visual personality of the club as Jill McDonald. The contrast in styles had a cross-over in their humour and (again) the surreal side of their narrative.

Please remember that this image is the creative property of Quentin Blake

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Puffin Post Vol.9 no.4

Here's a jolly cover - Does it get any better than this? Each of these letters is like a little jewel. Each works on its own, but also works as part of the overall composition. My design tutors when I was a student (in the dim mists of time) would have loved this one.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Badges, Badges, Badges

I've promised these for a while, so here they are! I found myself sitting next to Kaye Webb at one of the Commonwealth Institute Puffin Exhibitions and was stunned to see her sporting not just one, but three badges! I asked her how I could get them and where they were from.

She told me that the Gold Badge (no.4) was for founder members or those who had done something particularly special.

The Green Badge (no.3) was the members badge in Australia (though Kaye was wearing her Founders Green Badge that looked a bit like her Gold Badge.

The remaining badges are the standard White Badge (no.1) that I have found in different versions - The earlier badges were genuine enamel made by the Davis Badge company of London. Later versions were made with a plastic insert instead of enamel. (You will see a lot of these on ebay).

The last badge is the Black Badge (no.2) that was earned for being a member for four years - these were only ever made in enamel and the quality varied from well finished and ground to rough and distinctly ropey.

The members badge was of course the Puffin Logo designed by Jill McDonald when Kaye Webb became editor of Puffin Books in 1961.

Other classic button badges were made for the various events. I collected a pile of these and some survived better than others. Watch for these in future posts.

As a small addition - I have since learned that there was one solitary badge of gold that was made for club President, Yehudi Menuhin. This was a special gift from Kaye Webb. I assume it is still with the Menuhin family.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Puffin Post Vol.7 no.3

Time for Odway the dog to get the main billing for a change! This issue featured the first episode of the Odway strip 'Ye Great Enigma of ye Golden Fleas' - a perfect example of the surreal humour of Jill McDonald.

This issue featured:

Short Stories:

How the Starling Flew South - by Paul Biegel
The Romance of a plain Princess - by Ursula Moray Williams

Meet your Author - Joan Lingard, The Book that nearly wasn't written
Beginnings by Jane Gardam
Can we save our Wildlife - by Kenneth Mellanby (Another environmental article!)
Brand Rustling - by Ken Ullyat

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Puffin Post Vol.11 no.2

Another lovely sunny cover. A bit trippy, but still one of my favourites.

This issue has a really nice feel about it - even more cheery than usual.
Maybe it's because it has pics from the 10th Birthday show

Friday, 25 July 2008

Puffin Post Vol.8 no.2

Since the summer sun has finally decided to show it's face, I thought this cover would add to the mood.

This issue contained:

Short stories:
The Most Beautiful House - by Paul Biegel
Question Mark and the Wosbos - by Carolyn Sloane


Pictures from the 7th Puffin Show at the Commonwealth Institute
Building a Castle - Penelope Farmer tells how she came to write 'A Castle of Bone'
Witches and Witchdoctors I have met - by Ben Lucien Burman
Volcanoes - by Rupert Furneux
Old Jokes by Bronnie Cunningham
Meet your Author - Ursula Le Guin - by Susan Stanley Wolk

and of course - Norman Hunter's Magic Corner

Something sticky...

Not a cover this time, but a sticker that was handed out at the early 70's events. I'm lucky these survived for me to do the restoration bit on them. Badly yellowed and faded but still with a great deal of charm. I can't tell you what it feels like to bring this one back to life!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Puffin Post Vol.9 no.1

This is a work in progress. The copy I have in my collection is badly printed (the magenta isn't in register) This makes the original look very pink. I have been tweaking it on my Mac to realign the magenta part of the image and then retouch the damage of the years. It's nearly there, but I thought I'd share it with you. I wonder if every copy in the print run was printed this badly? Was yours in a better condition?

I got hold of this when the club had a clear out and made them available to members - I sent off my pocket money as fast as I could!! Some of my others were grabbed at the Exhibitions - again with most of my saved up pocket money.

Jill McDonald did a few of these ensemble covers - a mass of puffins all symbolising different personalities, moods or activities. They were a story in their own right.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

The Most Gigantic Tiny Notebook...

Something a bit different. I got this notebook at one of the Puffin Exhibitions - I can't remember if they were free or not, but I ended up with two or three of them. The print registration was pretty poor on the original, with the orange leaving gaps of white around the left hand edges. I've tidied this up and kept the texture of the card (about 240gsm for the pedants out there).

As an added point of interest, Kaye Webb had a rubber stamp of the same design without the text, that she used to stamp autograph books and fly sheets of autograph hunters.

This is a pretty rare item as many kids ended up throwing them away after filling them with scribble. I remember seeing loads of them being swept up at the end of the exhibition, sans cover or contents. There may be a few out there that were used as impromptu autograph books - if so, I would love to hear from you.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Puffin Post Vol.8 no.3

One of Jill McDonalds more surreal covers (this one was a bind to restore!). This features TOMCAT with one of his more unusual thought processes!

This issue contained:

Short Stories:
Treacle Tart - by Robert Graves

Space Oddities by Patrick Moore
A Single Clue - Mollie Hunter explains why she writes historical novels
Making a Corn Dolly
Susan Cooper tells us about Secret Places
Soldier and Me - about the adaptation of 'Run for your Life' on Granada TV

... and Norman Hunters Magic Corner

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Puffin Post Vol.6 No.2

A cover with a rare opportunity to see a 'real' puffin alongside Fat Puffin.

Contents include:

Coverage of the Great Puffin 5th Birthday Exhibition.
A call to all Puffineers (members) from Kaye Webb to help raise £3000 to buy a stretch of coastline as a Puffin reserve. I add that this was achieved and is still there! If you want to visit, it is part of the RSPB reserve on Bempton Cliffs.

Short Stories:
The Changeling Dragon - by Modwena Sedgwick (illustrated by Ronald Searle)
Maddened by Mystery or The Defective Detective - by Stephen Leacock

Interview with Pauline Baynes - illustrator of the Narnia books
Interview with Arthur C. Clarke

Norman Hunter's Magic Corner
David Swift talks about his Role as Napoleon in the BBC adaptation of War and Peace (1972)

Friday, 18 July 2008

Who is Fat Puffin?

Here's a nice little article that Jill McDonald wrote about the creation of Fat Puffin - it's a shame that there aren't similar articles for Odway and TOMCAT.


More soon... promise!

I hope this first taste of the past has whetted your appetite for more.
I will endeavor to post something of interest once a week - look out for the forthcoming set of badges with a key to what they are.

"Badges? You know I'm a fool for badges!"
The Goodies - 'Scoutrageous' episode

Puffin Post Vol.4 No.4

Another blinder from Jill McDonald. I really take my hat off to this lady. I still kick myself that I missed meeting her at the Puffin Exhibitions I attended. Ah my misspent youth chasing after authors!!

Anywho... the contents of this issue included:

Short stories:
My friend the Snake Charmer - by Ben Lucien Burman
The Picketty Ghost - by Ursula Moray Williams

Singular Disaster Strikes Survivor Z&!!5 - This looks like a collaboration by Jill McDonald and Norman Hunter - I'll have to look into this!
Meet Your Author - Francis Hodgson Burnett - by Ann Thwaite
Museum Mania - A guide to five museums of interest to puffineers

...and pictures from the Hallowe'en party held on October 31st 1970 in Middlesex

Puffin Post Vol.5 no.3

Isn't this fantastic?! Jill was on form that day. This took a bit of cleaning up - several creases and wear to the edges, not to mention yellowing due to age! It's cleaned up nicely.
This issue included:

Short stories:
The Day I didn't have my photograph taken - by Janet Hitchman
Cosmic George - by Scoular Anderson
The Buffalo - by Beatrice Tanaka

An article by Gerald Leach about being eco-friendly with the worlds resources (not such a new concept then!)
Peter Dickinson explaining about Heartsease
Micheal Bond introduces Olga da Polga

Pictures from the Colony Holiday in Chichester, August 1971 and various other events...

And a reminder to order the new 1972 Puffin Diary!

Fat Puffin loves you...

This is the graphic designed by Jill McDonald for a Puffin Mug that was given away as prizes and sold at various Puffin Exhibitions in the late 70's.

I had my mug safely stored away and then my eldest daughter managed to smash it!

After sticking it back together, I photographed it and then reconstructed a clean image. A bit of a labour of love, but I loved the translation of the plimsol line on the side of Fat Puffins tum.

I may get round to getting it put on a new mug and let you see how it looks.

I suppose I'd better get started...

After much 'putting it off' and not really doing anything about it, I've decided to put some of my thoughts and memories online about the wondrous entity that was the Puffin Club of the late 60's , 70's and 80's. This is partly a love of the old club and partly a continuing admiration of the work of the late Jill McDonald and Kaye Webb.

I was a member of the club from the mid seventies till the mid eighties,
alongside my younger brother, and being the bookish obsessive type, I took a keen interest in the early history and culture of the club.

I would love to hear from previous members of the Puffin Club - particularly founder members - with their memories, stories, anecdotes and photo's.

Those of you with school age kids will probably be aware of the current school club that is the surviving face of the old club. Things are going to change - but I'm not going to be the one to spread spoilers!! If you want to know more, register on www.puffincountdown.co.uk for more information.

I will be posting cleaned up images from my collection of Puffin Post, leaflets, badges , stickers and other ephemera. Please respect the copyright of these items - they are for fun, not profit!!

I must add that Puffin Post is copyright Penguin books and that no copyright infringement or financial gain is intended or inferred. (Glad I got that out of the way!!)

I hasten to add that I am not affiliated with Penguin, Puffin or any other group attached to the old club (other than being an old member).