2020 marks 80 years since Allen Lane founded Puffin, the biggest children’s book publisher in the world. To celebrate this major anniversary, Puffin have announced an exciting series of activities to champion the power of reading and inspire children to dream big.
The first Puffins were published in 1940 as non-fiction books to support child evacuees. By the following year, Puffin had published its first four major storybooks, including the famous Worzel Gummidge. Over the decades that followed, Puffin would inspire millions of children with an array of captivating tales. From rivers of chocolate to snowmen leaping to life, Puffin has always championed the power and pleasure of dreams.
Some of the publisher’s most internationally-recognised classics include Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web and Roald Dahl’s The BFG, with established contemporary authors including Jacqueline Wilson and Jeff Kinney (whose Diary of a Wimpy Kid remains the biggest-selling children’s book globally).
Through a competition that will open in March 2020, schoolchildren will have a unique chance to see their dream made into a film. It will also be premiered in their local cinema as part of the Into Film Festival, the largest youth-focused film festival in the world. Given how many Puffin books are hitting the cinemas in 2020, from Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, Jacqueline Wilson’s Four Children and It, to Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl and Roald Dahl’s The Witches, young dreamers are sure to find plenty of inspiration.
Puffin is also set to fund the Puffin World of Stories programme in partnership with the National Literary Trust. Through book donation and bespoke training for teachers, the initiative will give primary schools the tools they need to revitalise their school library as a hub of creativity and imagination, and inspire children to fall in love with reading.
Jade Cuttle graduated from the University of Cambridge with First-Class Honours in Literature, going on to undertake an MA in Poetry at the University of East Anglia. Selected by Ledbury Poetry Festival as an Emerging Critic and winning Best Reviewer (Editor's Choice) in the 2018 Saboteur Awards, Jade has written for the Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, The Times & The Sunday Times, the Observer, BBC Radio 3, BBC Proms, The Poetry Review and elsewhere. She is Deputy Poetry Editor at Ambit and judging the Costa Book Awards 2019. You can find out more on her website: www.jadecuttle.com