Puffineers across Britain will be celebrating with a cheery “Sniffup” as the Puffin Post is re-launched for the 21st Century.
In the 1960s and 70s, the magazine attracted a keen following of eight to 12-year-olds. Book reviews, short stories, jokes and poems were mailed out four times a year for a cost of 10 shillings.
In its first year 16,000 children, known as Puffineers, signed up. At its height, the Puffin Post had more than 200,000 members. Now-famous authors Norman Hunter and Leon Garfield graced its pages.
Subscription to the magazine brought with it a badge that let readers into something of a secret society. Members even invented a secret code to be used when meeting other Puffineers.
The cover designs, including work of the Post’s chief illustrator Jill McDonald as well as Quentin Blake and Jan Pienkowski, attracted a cult following and have become collectors items.
The aim of editor (and Chief Puffineer) Kaye Webb was to engage children in literature from an early age. She was supported by Puffin Post presidents Sir Allen Lane and Sir Yehudi Menuhin.
The Puffin Post faded into obscurity in the 1980s but is now being re-launched. The first issue includes a short story by Michael Morpurgo, 32 years after he first submitted it to the Post.