Monthly Archives: February 2009

Yet more treats – Puffin Readers Diary 1977

Dear blog readers,
Yet again, I have been contacted by someone with a past connection to the Puffin Club – to be honest this happened last year, but now I have something to share!

The artist and illustrator Jacqueline Atkinson who illustrated the strip ‘Canny Blockhead’ and produced many pieces of artwork for the club, has kindly sent me some selected pieces from her archive. One of the sets of drawings are the original plans for a mural that was realized at the Puffin Exhibition.

The first treat from Jacqueline’s archive is the cover she produced for the 1977 Puffin Readers Diary. I believe that she and Jill McDonald were the only artists to produce covers for these little gems (but I would love to hear if I am horribly wrong).

Look forward to the re-emergence of ‘Canny Blockhead’ in future postings.

Many thanks Jacqui!

A new service!!

I have had several requests to buy items from my collection since I started this blog, and whilst it is tempting during these hard times, it has been hard searched for and acquired.

So I intend listing links to items for sale that I think are worth bidding for, or buying from a dealer.

The first listings are:

Puffin Post Volume 5 Nos 1, 2 , 3 ,4 plus folder – eBay
Looks in good condition. I have noticed that there have been more Vol.5 bundles over the past 18 months than any other, so the bidding for this shouldn’t be too bad.
Well that was a waste of time! No one bid!

Puffin Post Volume 4 Nos 1, 2 , 3 ,4 plus folder – eBay
Again, pretty good. The filled in crosswords etc. shouldn’t put you off. These are getting more scarce. Still shouldn’t get above £10 – 12.
And it didn’t – No one bid again! – You can’t say I didn’t try!!

A set of Volume 3 went for £12.06 a month or so ago, which is about on a par with book dealer prices.

PUFFIN Book Metal Pin Badge – eBay
One of the genuine enamel badges – not bad by the look of the photo, but it does appear to have firing flaws down the left side (quite common). These badges can get up to £15! I just depends who you are up against!
What a bargain!! The winning bidder got it for £4.45! Well done that eBayer!

Hope this helps some of you out.

…and something for the younger audience. The Egg no.28

Sadly this august publication has not (as yet) been resurrected as this is a real favourite of my five year old. The cover, illustrated by Captain Pugwash creator John Ryan, features the mascot of the Junior Puffin Club – Smudge! Fat Puffin was supposed to be the Uncle of Smudge, though I remember this as something I was told at a Puffin event rather than in the pages of Puffin Post itself.

Apropos of the Puffin events, I remember a very nice little play area that had been set aside for the younger Puffineers and a very nice sounding lady inside a Smudge costume wandering around near it. Fat Puffin was of course doing the same elsewhere at the event, but it’s an image that has stuck with me.

I would be very interested if anyone out there has any Junior Puffin Club magazines and members memorabilia, as it is incredibly rare to find in any state of preservation – I only have a few copies and nothing else!!

Something a bit more recent…Puffin Post Number 7 – Autumn 1985!

This is one of the better covers that came with the re-branding in the 80’s – a great cover by Quentin Blake. I’m afraid this cover got some water damage, hence the creases (Too much to restore this time round without messing up the ink-wash artwork).

The inside of these felt a bit disjointed, maybe due to a loss of a house stylist to guide the way. Jill McDonald’s graphics still appear throughout the magazine – old echoes of earlier times.

The other big change – and a big mistake in my opinion – was the change in size from A5 to an awkward A4! Why??

A cheery puffin from the early days

I can’t tell you the year this handsome chap appeared – but he is one of the early exhibition flyer puffins that decorated a Puffin Club Exhibition. There have been quite a few that Jill McDonald designed over the years with a kind of evolution that becomes easier and more stylised with every passing event and exhibition. It makes me wonder what she would have produced if she hadn’t died at such an early age. Something marvelous!

Image from the collection of Ruth – Founder member 1487 – Restored S. Hassan Jan 2009