Category Archives: Puffin Post

You want badges? OK then…


Yes, it’s a Puffin Explorer badge – one of the old ones. I’ve sadly mislaid one of the fifteen badges in this collection – it’ll probably turn up when I least expect it. Never mind, I’ve still got the rest of them to share with you all.

Again, these are the work of Jill McDonald. One of my earlier posts showed one of the designs used as a rubber stamp. All of these badges were given away at Puffin exhibitions in the late 70’s.

This is an example of the badges that followed Jill’s death – The work is very slick, and obviously follows Jill’s example, but it doesn’t quite reach me in the same way. If you are the illustrator, please don’t take offense! I’m a big fan of Jill’s work, and I may be a bit blinkered.

Happy New Year to all!

It’s a bright sparkly new year – and already I have to start with an apology! I know I said I would try to put some little ‘gifts’ up on the blog over the twelve days (and here we are on day twelve without so much as a Christmas doughnut!).

I do have an excuse. I was laid up with one of the many Christmas lurgi bugs that are doing the rounds at the moment – so I wasn’t full of Christmas cheer; more like Christmas congestion!
Anywho, I’m back for a year of vintage Puffinalia that sees the first new Puffin Post on the doormats of new young puffineers, eagerly ripping those membership boxes open to savour the contents (including their own fuzzy puffin).

Things may seem bleak out there at the moment, but it is warming to remember that the powercuts and financial worries that accompanied the winter of discontent all those years ago also had it’s Puffin Club to give an identity to the avid readers of the 70’s. Maybe not a lot has changed after all!

To make up for not posting the promised goodies over the festive season, please accept this offering:This is the cover to Puffin Post Volume 14 No 3 – Voted the best Jill McDonald cover by Puffineers following her death. It is very lovely!

The second place by only two votes was Volume 8 No 2 – which I have already posted, followed by Volume 3 No 2 (which will follow, I promise, I promise, I promise).

For those that may be interested, Jill painted 219 puffins on the covers of Puffin Post in total (though I hesitate to collate the total for the contents as well (should one include reprints?!).

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!

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!).

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

…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!

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

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

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!)