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Durable Trifles

Lucy Pearson

Independent Scholar

“A Colony of ‘Puffins’: Documenting a Reading Community”

     The 1960s and 1970s saw a “second golden age” of children’s literature in Britain during which children’s publishing underwent a massive expansion.  At the centre of this expansion was Puffin Books, which led the way in paperback publishing for children.  The firm’s success owed much to editor Kay Webb, who was responsible for a range of innovations in branding, promotion, and marketing.  Webb was best known for her creation of the Puffin Club, a children’s reading club which had thousands of members worldwide.  This paper examines Puffin Club material from the Kaye Webb Collection (housed at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children’s Books, Newcastle) and explores how Kaye Webb created a reading community through the Club, examining printed and written ephemera to show how the Club worked to create a sense of identity and belonging amongst child readers.

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