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Monday, 20 December 2010

Puffin Post

My mum never throws anything away. Just recently, she passed me a stash of old magazines that triggered some very fond memories. Puffin Post was a quarterly magazine that played a huge part in my childhood. I loved reading, making things and drawing, and this publication combined all three. It was part of a club: you joined up and received a badge, and four magazines a year.

I must have been about eight when I first joined and my enthusiasm for it lasted until I was at least 15 (I wasn't very streetwise!). My aim was to get my name into the magazine, by winning a competition or having a poem published. I managed both eventually, although I seem to recall that I tried endless times!  I still have the collection of Puffin books that I won as my prize.  

Reading the magazines now, I am struck by how equally children were addressed. The tone is never patronising: I suppose now it might even be considered too strait-laced. But to me it is note perfect. I don't think it's just nostalgia, either. The design, though of its time, is incredibly innovative.

I am dying to read a new book by Valerie Grove, which is all about the founder of the Puffin Club and Puffin Post, publisher Kaye Webb. So Much to Tell is at the top of my Christmas reading list.

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