It feels extraordinary to be able to wish Puffin books a huge happy 80th Birthday. I know since I was a child I have been blessed to have been given books to read, encouraged strongly by my mother who wanted me to have opportunities that she didn’t, for this, I am so grateful. I still own some of these Puffin books and love the memories they give me.
To celebrate Puffin’s birthday, I am sharing with you two books that many of you will be familiar with. They are considered to be classic childhood favourites, and most children can recite them along with the reader.
Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox
Illustrated by Judy Horacek
Published by Puffin
For those that have been following me for a while will know I believe in the value of Mem Fox books, many of which I can recite word for word. Years ago, in a different career, the children I used to read Where is the Green Sheep to would read along with me, we would pause then really loudly shout “…But where is the green sheep?” shrug our shoulders in wonder and then turn the page. At the very last pages I would slowly say “Turn the page quietly – let’s take a peep…” and the excitement of getting to that final page is a wonderful celebration for us all.
What makes this a perfectly wonderfully book is that it’s engaging, with momentum building the whole way through. It engages children’s thinking, helps them understand opposites and has fun, engaging pictures. This book has so much to discover and is a perfectly constructed story.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Published by Puffin
The other book that is much loved by so many children and adults alike is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Most of us have grown up with this book, and it’s guaranteed to engage the young (and older) reader. It is a beautiful story that follows the lifecycle of a caterpillar, a very hungry one at that. He munches his way through fruit, sweets and a nice juicy green leaf and then builds himself a cocoon to rest until he becomes the beautiful butterfly we are all familiar.
The illustrations for Eric Carle books are distinctive in their bright, engaging colours. I love that books like this teach children colour, counting and about lifecycle in an enchanting way. This board book version is also textural and holds up to little (and big) fingers poking the holes in the pictures of the food the hungry caterpillar has been nibbling through.
There is something special about both these books. They encourage fun, exploration and thinking. The pictures are simple yet colourful and engaging. It is books like these that are why Puffin is celebrating 80 years of bringing together children and books, of feeding imaginations and building literacy. So I say thank you Puffin and Happy 80th Birthday.
Have you see this? Buying 2 books like Where is the Green Sheep and The Hungry Caterpillar can get you one of these awesome drink bottles in celebration of Puffins 80th Birthday