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Puffin Books logo
|Type(s)||Imprint of Publishing House, Penguin Books|
|Industry||Publishing Books (children's)|
Puffin Books is the children's imprint of British publishers Penguin Books and it was an approach by one of their editors, Geraldine Cooke, to Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone that eventually led to the creation of the Fighting Fantasy range of gamebooks.
The idea for Puffin was proposed in 1939 by Noel Carrington who met with Allen Lane, the founder of Penguin Books, and put to him an idea for a series of children's non-fiction picture books. The first picture books were published in 1940. The first Puffin storybook featured a man with broomstick arms called Worzel Gummidge in 1941.
The first Puffin Editor, Eleanor Graham, saw the brand through the 1940s and the struggles with paper rationing, and in the 1950s Puffin made its mark in fantasy with tales such as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardbrobe by C. S. Lewis and Charlotte's Web by E. B. White. At the turn of the decade Kaye Webb became Editor and saw 151 titles in print become, by 1969, 1,213. Some all-time classics were published including Mary Poppins, Dr Dolittle and The Hobbit and originals such as Stig of the Dump by Clive King. In 1967 Kaye Webb started the Puffin Club, selling the idea to Allen Lane with the promise that "It will make children into book readers". This club is still going strong today.
The 1970s saw more success for the Picture Puffins Kaye Webb had introduced. The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Each Peach Pear Plum were, and remain firm children's favourites. Puffin further augmented its position with hits such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and Watership Down by Richard Adams.
The 1980s saw Puffin taking full advantage of popular culture with film tie-in publishing, forming close links with the likes of Disney. It was at this time that they also took notice of two young authors who introduced the concept of adventure gamebooks to Puffin with what would grow into the Fighting Fantasy phenomenon.
THIS NEEDS EXPANSION
- For a complete list, see Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks (Puffin)
- For a complete list of Puffin related Fighting Fantasy merchandise, see Fighting Fantasy Collection - Puffin Books
Puffin also published a number of games based on the Fighting Fantasy books for the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 platforms. These were marketed as "The Puffin Personal Computer Collection". They were:
- The Warlock of Firetop Mountain in 1984 (ZX Spectrum only)
- The Citadel of Chaos in 1984
- The Forest of Doom in 1984
All three of the above titles also came as a Software Pack including the book as well as the game.
After Fighting FantasyEdit
The 1990s continued to see new writers join Puffin and in the twenty-first century the brand still sports heroes and heroines familiar with children such as Artemis Fowl, Max Gordon, Mildred Hubble and Scarlett and stars such as Kylie Minogue and Madonna have written for Puffin.