Polly And The Puffin Takes Flight

polly and the puffin

It’s rare for me to highjack my sewing blog to talk about my day job but today I am going to do that quite shamelessly. Mainly because I think you’ll love this book – Polly and the Puffin!

To give you a quick background: when I’m not sewing, I work on a new children’s imprint. My job for the past 18 months or so has been to grow our list (along with my two dedicated editors), to commission books I feel passionate about and to help great ideas come to fruition. Lucky me, heh?

polly inside pages

But this story starts with someone else. A wonderful author called Jenny Colgan. Jenny writes bestselling adult novels (because she’s clever like that) and her latest novels feature a tiny puffin called Neil.

Jenny’s readers love Neil. So does Jenny’s daughter. And so did I and my two editors when the idea for a children’s book was mooted. There were audible sighs of delight at our desks, Jenny joined us for a brainstorm and an exciting new book was commissioned. My wonderful commissioning editor found us the perfect illustrator – Thomas Docherty. Cue lots more ‘ooh’s and ‘ah’s.

But we needed a page designer. Who could it be? Who did we know who could do justice to the little character coming to life before our eyes? Ooobop, of course! We commissioned a certain sewing blogger come book designer to work on the pages with us and she remained patient, inspired and inspiring throughout.

sophia_collar_detailPage Designer Of Brilliantosity!

Our book was coming together. Slowly, slowly the story of a little girl and a puffin with an injured wing prepared to take flight. Page proofs were supplied, a cover was designed, marketing and publicity professionals gathered their arsenal. All heading towards the most important day in a book’s journey – publication day.

And now that day has arrived. In Jenny’s story, Polly learns to accept that it’s time for Neil to return to the wild. Today I feel a bit like Polly, sending our book out into the ether, blowing a kiss after it, wishing it well on its way. I’m so grateful to all the people who brought their creativity to bear on a story about a very special bird, who will stay in my heart for ever.

puffin brooch

Well, that’s the schmaltz over! Now, onto the much more important deal of a giveaway. I am offering a copy of the book and a super cute puffin brooch, as above.

But heck, this is a sewing blog – so let’s throw some sewing love in there, too!

Chez Napier has pulled together a sewing kit based around the new Sewaholic Oakridge pussy bow blouse. The kit includes 2.5 yards of silk challis, thread, eight shell buttons, interfacing … and the pattern itself. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Chez Napier

The giveaway for all three items is open worldwide to one lucky winner. All I ask in return is for you to leave a comment below saying what adventures you think Neil should embark on next. What story would you write for a little puffin?

The deadline for this competition is midnight GMT Thursday 5 March. Good luck!

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210 Responses to Polly And The Puffin Takes Flight

  1. Siobhan says:

    How gorgeous! I love the insight into your working life on the blog. A puffin’s adventure is not complete without international travel – Puffin in France? Australia?

  2. Katie M says:

    What a lovely looking story. Both my girls are avid readers, so I’ll keep my eyes out for this one. What about the next Puffin adventure being Neil finding his family again? He could go on a journey from coast to coast, meeting Puffins who speak different languages, until he finds home again.

  3. ooobop! says:

    The pleasure was absolutely, totally all mine Karen! Polly and the Puffin is definitely one of those ‘old favourites’ already. Such a beautiful story and, oh those illustrations! Very honoured to have had the opportunity to work on this wonderful book and with you of course! xxxxx

  4. Nani Blyleven says:

    You have such any interesting day job!
    How about Polly solving a mystery? It doesn’t have to be a crime mystery, it could be a mystery about how some thing was made or how an anomaly came to be. Then how she goes about finding the answers and figuring out clues on her own (or with a friend).

  5. Wannabe children's author says:

    What about touching on an Eco theme with Neil having to set out earlier to find fish, or talking to a whale about plastic bags, or touching on Ocean currents and finding a coconut and talking to a turtle/another bird about migration, or stormy/fine weather and cloud patterns, seeing a small fishing boat and the shipping forecast, finding wreckage from the Spanish Armada (not Eco!), coastal rock formations, dinosaur bones washed up from the Irish Sea, family oral history about the time when the (pick an animal) could walk from mainland Europe.

  6. Claire Pascoe says:

    I think Neil should come across a lonely blue whale, but not realise at first that it’s a living creature. Once he and the blue whale finally speak, the shy whale finally has a friend and he shows Neil his favourite places in the ocean.

  7. Skaapie says:

    Oh I love puffins! I think he needs a partner in crime to go on adventures with.

  8. i read the Little Beach Street Bakery and the little puffin was there. Neil on a sewing adventure!

  9. Beth says:

    Has anyone here read Why the Whales Came by Michael Morpurgo? It’s set on the Isles of Scilly, one of which is called Annet (my middle name!) where puffins breed. I definitely think Neil should visit and make other puffin friends!

  10. Mags says:

    Puffins are my favourite bird! Niels next adventure could be saving some children adrift in a rowing boat by raising the alarm. Or better still coming to live with me in Cumbria where he could start a puffin colony (that might be unsuitable for children)! What a great giveaway, fingers crossed!

  11. sewmanju says:

    I would love to hear about Neil finding a puffin colony and a special friend to mate with 🙂 maybe for a bit of spice the puffin colony is endangered somehow?

  12. MaryAnn Carlson says:

    The little puffin should visit all the children at Children’s Hospital, Seattle.

  13. Lisa Capazorio says:

    The illustration is so beautiful! I think the puffin’s next adventure would be him trying to find his way back to Polly but gets lost in the english woodlands and befriends a hedgehog and a rabbit( hare) in his attempted to find his way back

  14. Wendy says:

    Great giveaway, thanks Karen. How about Neil helping other Puffins escape from a nasty zoo keeper?

  15. I think that in a funny way! Neil the puffin should promote the idea of world peace and everyone just being nice go each other! Lovely giveaway!
    Or he could go on the quest for the missing pin that your 87% sure you dropped but now can’t find and are worried is going to end up in someone’s foot (but that might only appeal to sewists!)

    X

  16. Lesley King says:

    I work in conservation and really enjoy the books that attempt to teach kids about ecology and conservation through stories. Perhaps he needs to go on a journey meeting various friends that are species at risk ie turtles eating plastic bags, albatrosses avoiding long lines. In a fun lovely story of course!

  17. Liz A says:

    Oh how lovely. I think Neil should have an adventure that echoes all good sewing stories – start out with a plan (for a trip, for a day out, or a new pattern) get a little tangled (in fishing line) or lost (on rogue currents/bad instructions) and then with the help of friends find his way clear… Or adapt to the new situation and turn his misfortune into something else. Either way, he is gorgeous and I do enjoy Jenny’s novels, so looking forward to reading this to my girls. Thanks for the introduction.

  18. I love how everyone’s imaginations are going into over drive! Keep it coming.

  19. Jenni says:

    This sounds like a lovely book, and maybe the next adventure would be his journey home to his family noticing the oceans litter along the way. Beautiful fabric for that pattern too x

  20. Alexa says:

    What a lovely book and amazing giveaway. What about Neil going to Iceland? They have so many Puffins there and amazing scenery for him to explore.

  21. Aw, this is just adorable. When I was a kid I wanted to take in all the injured animals and heal them. My sister and I tried to mend a butterfly with a broken wing once… but it was eaten by a bird. That day, we learned the cruel side of nature.
    Anyway, I think Neil should now pay forward the good deed of Polly. He should study medicine or veterinary science and travel the world looking after injured creatures. ‘Puffin Sans Frontieres’??

  22. Nancy MacGregor says:

    Hi – I think Neil should have an adventure and meet a new friend along the way. Perhaps his new friend could be a puppy or some other animal and they support each other along their trip. I think this type of story could highlight how despite the fact we are all different (in appearance – colour, sex, religion etc.) but how our differences need to be forgotten while we learn to work together towards a common goal – in order to teach children social skills and to avoid discrimination.

    That’s my 2 cents worth – Nancy

  23. Hatti says:

    This sounds perfect, I am always buying children’s books for my (22 year old) sister, this is the next one! For a second adventure, how about Polly goes to find Neil (on Lundy island maybe?) and on a beach they find something lost – like a wedding ring, or a message in a bottle, and they have to find who lost it – from anywhere in the world?

    I am very jealous of your job, it sounds like such fun!

  24. Nina Holst says:

    What a nice Little friend :-). I think he should go to the Zoo, to se some of his friends there. That could be a lovely story.

  25. Virginia says:

    What a gorgeous book! The next book could begin where the last left off, finding out where the healed puffin goes, and what he discovers. Maybe him and Polly could connect again, somehow?

  26. Clare says:

    Neil and the Lonely Lighthouse Keeper, exploring all the ocean debris that washes up on it’s shore and the whales that swim by, and the ships that pass by and the weather that they encounter…….

  27. jcgshaston says:

    This will book will be a perfect present for my six-soon-to-be-seven granddaughter.
    I think that Jenny should pay a holiday visit to the puffin colony and learn something about living and getting along with others.

  28. Amanda Renea says:

    Maybe some “foreign” birds can come and visit! Like a penguin, ostrich, or even a dodo!

  29. Nicola says:

    Sounds like a book my boys (and me) would enjoy, they love animal stories. I also read the beach street bakery with the puffin! Thanks for sharing a view into your day job too, sounds very interesting. I think Neil should learn about animals at risk of extinction and find a plan to help save them, for
    example preventing loss of habitat.

  30. debs2748 says:

    Maybe he should act like a shipwrecked sailors message in a bottle and bring a message to a ship to come save the poor castaway.

  31. Katie Harrop says:

    What a beautiful book, it has a real vintage feel to it. And I love that the puffin’s name is Neil! I think that a conservation theme would be lovely,

  32. Rhian says:

    Neil should go up to the puffin colonies on the Shetlands! Meet the ponies, the sheep, the islanders, the knitting……….

  33. Cara M says:

    Puffin goes to Puffin school and has adventures learning how fish, sing and make puffin friends.

  34. Emily says:

    Can Neil become King of Lundy Island? He could have stamps with his face on and use them to send a letter to Polly?

  35. Lyndle says:

    What a gorgeous book and absolutely beautiful illustrations and design. Congratulations to all involved, including of course YOU!
    As for adventures… The world doesn’t have to go to hell in a handbasket just yet. At the risk of being very 1950s, Can’t he meet a nice lady puffin, go fishing with her, and start a family? (Do they mate for life like penguins do?) . Then you could have some cute baby puffins to draw…

  36. Miss Amy says:

    An eco book might be nice. Polly visits Neil in the wild and learns about what sort of things she can do to look after his home and the home of the other creatures that Neil is friends with.

  37. Susie says:

    Wow I used to read Jenny Colgan books all the time!! How exciting that she’s writing such cute books now!! I think a great next adventure for the puffin would be if Polly came to visit him on Puffin Island (which is off the coast of Wales!), he could introduce her to his family or his friends!

  38. I love puffins and really enjoyed seeing them up in Orkney. I think Neil would love to get involved in an archaeological dig on Shetland or Orkney, and Polly could visit the site too! It could involve learning about history/ prehistory, and perhaps have another bird represented in the archaeological remains, such as a Viking brooch, which gets Neil really excited!

  39. knitlass says:

    ooh! This sounds like such a wonderful story – I am a bit of a puffin fan, and have seen lots and lots on Shetland. I can see we’ll have to get a copy!

    So, I reckon that Neil should go and visit some lighthouses – you could get him going to some famous ones, like Muckle Flugga (Shetland) or Grace Darling’s Lighthouse on the Farne Islands or the Bass Rock lighthouse (Scilly) and hearing the stories about them from the local puffins.

    Or, he could get blown off course by a big storm and end up visiting some of the Tufted Puffins and Horned Puffins that live in North America.

  40. kim says:

    I love puffins and like to see them speeding across the open sea when I am sailing. I think a good storey would be the changing colours of the puffins beak through the seasons, very simple.

  41. Janet says:

    Well done! I’ve just ordered three copies of the book (using your link), because I never win things, but know that my four little girls will all enjoy this book. We went to Seahouses about a year ago – at the wrong time of the year for the puffins (but we did see hundreds of baby seals) so we are hoping to go back again sometime when it is puffin season. Whilst there, we went on a boat trip to the Farne Islands (when we saw the puffins). The girls had never been in a boat before, and thought the whole experience was a brilliant adventure. Maybe in the story some children could meet Neil, and tie in some of the things they found so magical about visiting Seahouses – could Neil be found lost at the nearby Bamburgh Castle and returned to his puffin friends on the Farne Islands with the help of some children? My girls took away some lovely round shaped shells, which we still have and treasure as a memory of a wonderful family holiday. I can’t wait to show them the book when it arrives (we’ll keep the other copies ready to give away as birthday presents to friends).
    Sorry for the waffle – can you tell I’m marrooned on the sofa today, looking after a sick baby, with nothing but day time TV and my lap top to keep me company?!
    Good luck with the book. The illustrations look fabulous. I bet it will become a favourite.
    I’d love to win that gorgeous fabric, obviously.

  42. Grace says:

    OOh I love Jenny Colgan it was one of my new years resolutions to finally read all her books, two down a lot more to go! I’ve added this one to my Amazon basket for payday, I’m sure my daughters will love it. As for an adventure for Neil the puffin, how about a trip to meet the North Ronaldsay sheep on the Orkney islands? Kids love it when animals do unexpected things. I also love knitlass’s idea above about him travelling to meet other breeds of puffin.

  43. clareyszabo says:

    Ahhh this is so cool! I love that Janene has become part of this project via sewing – so encouraging to read that we can be a network of skills as well as a sewing community. With Baby Szabo almost here, I’d love to be able to win a copy of this beautiful book!

  44. Donna says:

    Ooh, what a lovely sounding book and a lovely giveaway! My youngest is now 16, but I still love children’s books!
    Oh dear though, lots of stories come to mind! Moral or pure fantasy? Maybe Neil could get lost/wander into a Penguin colony and make best buddy’s with a young penguin, but the older (young penguins) don’t like him because he’s different? But best buddies win through! 🙂

    Or as puffins live in rabbit holes, he could get caught up in a rabbit chase with a bunny friend and some mean poachers….

    There’s some lovely comments/ideas on here already, so I hope you like one of them. Best of luck with the book. Xx

  45. Kathy Lynch says:

    My gorgeous daughter is an Editor (travel guide books) & she too says the same thing on a book’s big day: “I sent France (or whatever book she’d been working on) to the Publishers today, Mum! Phew!” I haven’t any suggestions yet for Neil’s next adventure but as a new “Nanna”, may I just say “THANK YOU” to all the wonderful people who create gorgeous books for our precious little ones! (My granddaughter is only 4.5 months old but already we read to her every day!)

  46. Oh lord everything is so lovely! I think Neil should fly out to sea and meet some lovely mermaids, because mermaids are awesome! Loving that sewing kit, it just so lovely.

  47. Kath says:

    I can imagine the little puffin back out at the coast, making friends with seals and seagulls. That sounds like a good thing for a newly mended puffin to be bussying themselves with. I love the puffin brooch, when I saw it I thought it came with each book (not practical but adorable)
    Kath

  48. bessiemae says:

    Polly and Neil travel by sea to Easter Island or Galapagos, where they befriend tortoise or finch named “Darwin”. Perhaps the tortoise as only room for one bird in this series! Or, the traveling twosome embark on a 7 Wonders due to Neil’s relentless passion to eat dim sum at the Great Wall and ride camels near the Pyramids. On the road to Cairo, the Traveling Twosome detour through Nepal for tea with the Dalai Lama and Everest. Neil’s wanderlust, coupled with lack of credentials and opposable thumbs, creates amusing encounters with Customs Officials, which earnest plucky Polly must navigate.

  49. i think Neil should befriend a kitty on a ship.

  50. Siobhan Andrews says:

    Puffin should meet a penguin and take a trip to Antarctica to see the colony.

  51. beccaw01 says:

    I would write about him finding other puffins in the wild and learning to make friends with them all! (Oh, and I have a 2 year old and 4 year old daughters who would adore a book like that almost as much as I would enjoy making that blouse 😉 ) Good luck with the book launch!

  52. Simone says:

    Beautiful book. Neil first meets a seagull and tries to be like him before finally meeting ,ore puffins and finding his own tribe so to speak.

  53. rachelh04 says:

    I think Neil should commandeer a boat and go on a sailing holiday in search of new Puffin friends!

  54. Rebecca says:

    Sewing and puffins – the perfect combination! Puffins fly a long way on migration, maybe Neil could take in some major landmarks on his way? The Statue of Liberty, The Pyramids, Uluru, Niagara Falls (tricky fishing there!) R…..

  55. i think Neil should make friends with a kitty who lives onboard a ship.

  56. Louise says:

    The puffin may have an adventure helping almost tug boat get home after a big storm. The book looks Fantastic. Good lick

  57. CarmencitaB says:

    I say he should come to Brittany and learn some French with his cousins. Great giveaway, thanks.

  58. Hester says:

    What a gorgeous book, and a gorgeous giveaway! I like the idea of Neil the Puffin enlisting Polly’s help to clean up his beach, and get rid of the plastic and ring pulls and so on; it could be a lovely story and a nice way of getting kids interested in environmental issues!

  59. lauriesannie says:

    We first saw live puffins and their chicks on Rathlin Island. Neil and Polly should visit the colony there.

  60. J K says:

    Neil should accidentally fall asleep on a shipping cocontainer and travel to a foreign land. He would then have the adventure of learning how to get back home.

  61. Linda says:

    Neil could introduce kids to birds from other regions, especially those that are endangered, showing how they became endangered and how we can help save them.

  62. Alison says:

    I think Neil should come here to Chile where he would meet some Humboldt penguins who will make everyone laugh out loud as they try to pronounce his name!

  63. chacha says:

    He should go on an adventure collecting skerricks of fabric from all over the world, returning home to pad out his nest and be reminded forever more of the beauty on the world 🙂

  64. What a beautiful book! It looks lovely and I think it’ll be a perfect present for my Mum – she loves puffins and will no doubt love reading it to her grandchildren. Randomly, I think a puffin and a bear would be the best of friends 🙂

  65. Clare says:

    Lovely! He should go skiing, I’ve never seen a Puffin ski, and it’s about time I did..!

  66. Christine Gibbons says:

    Oh what a wonderful story. I would love to read this to my grandchildren. We read every afternoon and I know they will like this story. I love both kinds of puffins.

  67. Ellen says:

    I’d love to see the puffin visit the U.S. Imagine a puffin seeing the Grand Canyon, or the giant Sequoias. If he has time a visit to my part of the U.S. Would be great. We have tons of snow in the winter, and the beautiful Finger Lakes. Learning about the native Americans who lived along these lakes would be wonderful. Trying to pronounce some areas like Skaneateles would be great fun.

  68. Jennifer C says:

    Your job sounds amazing! I think Neil should travel the world looking for other puffins, having adventures along the way.

  69. Jenny says:

    Well he could fall in love with a lady puffin who is captured by some wicked people and taken to a zoo. He could travel o’er land and sea to find her and it would of course end happily. Lovely fabric Karen. Thank you. jennylarking at gmail dot com

  70. Stephanie says:

    This is so sweet. Glad the process went well and the best of luck to the book and author! One of my favourite books is the Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc. The injured bird and the lion forge a friendship, the bird leaves once healed but comes back to stay with the lion every winter. Fundamentally, it’s about friendship. I like that idea for the core of the book. Although I also like the idea of wild adventures. Perhaps the puffin could get lost and end up in the fairy penguin colony on the south shore of Australia for a while. 🙂

  71. Anna says:

    Wow! I think Neil and Jenny try to solve a mystery, probably set in the lighthouse in the background. She should wear a deerstalker hat and they should both share a magnifying glass.

  72. Jennifer says:

    this sounds like exactly the book I would have read cover to cover on repeat as a child! I think Neil’s next story should involve him heading to queensferry (near edinburgh) and inchcolm island (in the forth) where there are a large number of puffins! his journey could involve him going looking for other puffin buddies 🙂

  73. Neil should travel to each continent and explore the landmarks and local animals!

  74. what a teaser – now i really want to meet polly and neil! i love a book that excites me as much as it does my daughter, and it looks like you’ve accomplished that. well done!
    i can see a long series of neil books. maybe he starts by testing out his newly healed wing in a tour around the UK, making unlikely friends with sheep and ‘hairy coos’. as he gains strength and confidence, he decides to fly further afield, maybe meeting other puffin colonies and tasting their local fish. along the way, he develops a taste for regional dishes and makes a point of seeking them out. maybe he has a curry in mallaig and decides to make his way to india to taste the real thing? i hope that polly could visit the new stories as well. maybe neil could send her lovely postcards, and we could see polly reading them (and get snapshots of her life as she grows up, too). then of course, at some point, a reunion would be required 🙂

  75. Elly says:

    Hi, such a lovely book and the giveaway got better and better as I read on! My suggestion would be a flip on the tale so instead of polly and the puffin it might be ‘the puffin and polly’. This time polly might need Neil’s assistance. Loved reading everyone’s suggestions too! X

  76. sarah daggett says:

    I agree with everyone who said that Neil should make a friend, or more, as he learns to live in the wild. The illustrations here are lovely!

  77. Freda says:

    Having visited the Farne Islands a number of times to see the puffins, I would suggest Neil moving to a new home. They look so cute carrying the bedding into their burrows, He could, of course, be carrying a nice quilt made especially by a good sewist.

  78. Nadine Lindstrom says:

    What a lovely book. I am sure I will buy it for my granddaughters.

    I would like to see Neil meet some other puffins from Iceland (where there are lots of puffins), then travel there to see them and all the wild scenery.

    I am always looking for new (to me) authors. I will check out Jenny Colgan’s adult books.

  79. Becky says:

    Perhaps a fun adventure by train?

  80. V Reed says:

    Oh my! what a totally charming book! A puffin of great adventure, surely! Such an eager little puffin should have a world of friends. Do puffins go on safari? Do they like giraffes?

  81. Jen (NY) says:

    Neil is quite cute. I suspect that an important part of the story is his interaction with a human, Polly, and consequently Polly’s feelings about Neil. We can understand Neil through Polly. So, what ever direction the next story takes, a human character is important, whether its Polly or another.

    It might be fun if Neil falls asleep on a floating “rock” that turns out to be a raft or boat, thereby transporting him elsewhere overnight while he sleeps. Perhaps he attempts to hitch a ride back on a fishing boat, makes some “wrong turns,” and meets interesting people along the way – a sea captain, the captain’s son or daughter, and someone who ultimately helps him get home again. Meanwhile, the other puffins were so worried about him…

  82. Ruth says:

    Neil and polly should go to Lindesfarne and find a special friend for Neil

  83. Oh, oh, oh! He should visit his puffin cousins on the east coast of Canada!! He would love it, I bet 🙂

  84. Ann says:

    How totally charming! I think Neil should teach the wild puffins that humans aren’t all bad.

  85. Spike says:

    Book and fabric – just about the perfect giveaway! I love recommendations of new books for myself and my kids – I’ll be looking up your author.

  86. Kathy says:

    I think the little puffin should look for his home. Maybe it could be a series of books where he goes different places that puffins live to find his home. First off could be Iceland. He could have an adventure there.

  87. louise says:

    How about a story about him adapting to the wild life Maybe learning to become a wild penguin , He could go to penguin school!.

  88. Ginger N says:

    What a lovely book! I like the idea of international travel or maybe he could help boost the confidence of animals that for some reason or another don’t fit in.

  89. Jacana says:

    An eco theme is definitely the one I would go for. Neil could protect nesting ground from developers or something similar. My grandson would enjoy the book. Great post Karen.

  90. Elena Knits says:

    Thank you for the giveaway! I think Neil should travel around the world.

  91. Hélène says:

    Neil joins a puffin colony. Trying to overcome his shyness, he gets bullied by a big fellow and after living through hell, he finds a way to work the situation out. (This give-away concept is utterly creative! Thanks, Karen.)

  92. Sid says:

    Well, I just read a wonderful story in the news about a girl in Seattle who has a lovely relationship with crows who bring her gifts! She feeds them and they bring her shiny, sparkling little bits and bobs, and she has saved them all, it is very sweet. Maybe Neil (a great name for the little guy!) could visit the other puffins here in the Pacific Northwest, meet some crows along the way, and show us the wonder of giving and receiving.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win the fabulous gift bag!

  93. redsilvia says:

    Neil should accidentally stow away on a fancy yacht and end up in a tropical land. I’m sure many good adventures will occur before Neil finds a way home.

  94. michelenel says:

    Afloat atop an iceberg heading out to sea – whatever could happen next?

  95. Lynn says:

    Oh, I would love this! Neil takes to the stage! Lots of room for adventure there!

  96. Linda Jones says:

    Could Neil get a ride on the back of an albatross and go to the Galapagos and meet the unusual animals there including the blue and red footed boobies

  97. Karyn Liza says:

    I think Neil should go on holiday with Polly and her family to the Norfolk Broads on a boat and he should make friends with some ducklings! And he should learn how to sail. Guess what one of my favourite holidays was!!! Will look out for the book for my niece, I think she would love it.

  98. Sarah W says:

    Looks like a fantastic book! And a great giveaway! I think Neil should take a trip to the zoo & maybe try to liberate a few fellow puffins while he’s there 😉

  99. Marike Smit says:

    How exciting!
    I see Neil being very trusting with humans after being nursed back to health by Polly and her mother. This gets him caught and put in a circus. Here he becomes friends with Simon the seal, who helps him adapt to life in the circus, and shares his water tub with him. Neil finds the circus fun at times, but he misses Polly and is never quite happy.
    Meanwhile, Polly is missing Neil terribly, and wondering where he is and how he is doing. One day, Polly sees a circus poster, and in the background spots a certain little puffin…She immediately tells her mommy about her discovery. They set out to find the circus and her mommy manages to persuade the circus owner to sell Neil to them. Polly and Neil are happily reunited, and Neil decides to make his permanent home with Polly and her mommy by the sea.

  100. Pam Speak says:

    I think Neil should help other puffins do things they thought they couldn’t do, swim, fly, dance etc. He can be a puffin inspiration.

  101. Margo says:

    I think Neil starts to travel over to Canada, but then due to currents ends up in Africa in the jungle! I think he would have some adventures with monkeys. 🙂 What an adorable looking book! And I’m going to check out her novels as well.

  102. Wow! I don’t know when I’ve last read so many interesting comments! It is so great to see the enthusiasm, clearly sparked by this magical little book! I’m in love with Neil already, and I don’t even have little ones of my own! I’m 100% on board with Neil traveling around the world and experiencing different cultures. He might be out of his element in Egypt, but his perspective on the pyramids and the grand sphinx would be of great interest to me. Maybe he could travel down the Nile…

    And a quick word on Polly. I can see myself taking some style notes from her. I’m a little redhead too, and her patterned trapeze dress is adorable!

    Big congrats to you, lovely Ooobop, and your team!

  103. askouras says:

    I’m not sure what kind of adventures Neil currently goes on, but I was curious about puffin’s migratory patterns. According to Wikipedia, Atlantic puffins, depending on if they’re normally around Canada/Maine or if they’re in northern Europe, will go to New York or Morocco in the winter, respectively. If there’s going to be adventures, that seems like the way to start, and you learn more about puffins that way.

  104. Really lovely post – I love it when sewing bloggers go off piste! Neil will need some romance in his life – out in the wild he meets Nelly/Nora (either/or – clearly I am not suggesting a threesome) and the pair of them set off together to …. Lundy/Brownsea Island.

  105. Wow! Such great ideas in the comments! Neil has really inspired us all! It might be a step out of his natural element, but I’d love to see him in Egypt. What would be his perspective on the great pyramids and the sphinx I wonder? I’m sure he’d enjoy a trip down the Nile while he’s there.

    And a quick word about Polly. I think I can take some style tips from her. I’m a little redhead too, and her patterned trapeze dress is adorable!

    Big congrats to you, Ooobop, and your team!

  106. Laura says:

    This book looks adorable! I’m glad I’m not the only person in the world who has a design/print type career and a passion for sewing in their spare time 🙂 It makes me sad knowing Neil will have to leave Polly for the wild 🙁 maybe Neil should visit a flower shop and bring some flowers back for Polly to show how much he misses her!!

  107. Shelley says:

    I am sure Neil could be involved in a daring sea rescue, helping the RNLI or coastguard. That is a fab giveaway. I love the fabric and have been hankering after that pattern. Brooch and book look super cute too, think Ptolemy as a name for the litte fella. Always good to see new books too, thank you.

  108. aha! I got very excited by the Design your own Panty wanty woos worksheet on the LB website, with imaginings of a wee pattern and instructions. Your two worlds coming together again! 🙂
    I think Neil should become a World Famous Blogger and have to escape the clutches of the Evil Media Mogul who wants to subvert him to his causes. So, he goes undercover as Polly’s family’s butler. Which is odd as they lie in a small cottage. But it’s quite funny really. After a few wines 😉

  109. Kieran says:

    Neil should help someone else who is injured to go free, too!

  110. Annie says:

    What a gorgeous book – a ‘must-read’ for my granddaughter. Perhaps Neil could find a ‘treasure’, lost by its owner. After an adventure he finally locates the owner and much as he would love to keep the treasure, he finds true happiness by re-uniting it with its owner!

  111. Ros says:

    I think the puffin should learn to write and tell his own stories!

  112. Kathryn says:

    It looks like such a sweet story, you are lucky in your job!

    What about some myth and magic as Neil makes it to the Isle of Staffa? He could explore the cave and find some magic realism excitement with the puffins from the area.

  113. Carolyn says:

    Neil becomes a life guard on beach and helps rescue people in trouble, by dropping buoys into the sea for swimmers. One day he finds an abandoned surf board and on top is a small puffin called Sally. Neil gives Sally a buoy with a sting and pulls Sally into shore. Sally comes to live with Neil.

  114. Esther Lim says:

    Lovely illustrations. What about a series of Neil finding a new friend each time that happens to be a different species? That way he could also travel around the world!

  115. Nicola says:

    I think Neil should go on a long adventure ride in the basket on the front of Polly’s bike! They could go from the highlands of Scotland to the white cliffs of Dover seeing all the sights along the way 🙂

  116. Karen Dodgson says:

    Neil to the rescue! Once home, Neil finds he’s missing Polly rather terribly. He soldiers on until one day, he finds a rather oddly shaped egg all on its own. Worried that it won’t hatch without help, he wonders who he can turn to….and then realises it’s a perfect excuse to find Polly again! And so the rescue begins…..

  117. Adorable! I think he should take a trip to visit his cousins, the horned puffins, in Alaska or British Columbia!

  118. What a lovely book. He should go time travelling, perhaps back to the 18th c to take part in a naval adventure

  119. Deborah says:

    I’d like Neil the puffin to have an adventure on the casquet Island that used to be a light house.

  120. Deborah says:

    My comment is above, just wanted to correct my email address.

  121. Deborah says:

    Neil the puffin should come to essex.

  122. litcoach says:

    I think the puffin should go to the gulf of St Lawrence and meet a French speaking puffin and develop the idea of tolerance and dealing with the misunderstandings and funny events that would entail.

  123. Cerys says:

    Aw I think Neil should meet a friend who has lost a special shell and they go hunting high and low asking other animals if they have seen the shell until they come across a beach made up of the shells and inhabited by a Puffin colony

  124. Ali says:

    How about if Polly were to get the chance to visit Neil in the wild? Closure after saying goodbye and the story of her exploring his world would mirror Neil in Polly’s in the original story.

  125. Miss Horan says:

    Puffin going back in time retracing his family roots or entering a mystical world (we have fairies living in our classroom who go on mega adventures!!)

  126. Fiona says:

    I think Neil should set off across the Irish Sea to meet a lady puffin….babies of course….then a long trip back to Polly with his new family. On the journey they could have a variety of adventures with storms, big waves, whales, and so on….meet a fleet of fishing boats which they guide back to land and they all live happily ever after!

  127. Rachel Meddoms says:

    Hi, lovely book. I think Neil should look for his families home, discover the threat of poachers trying to steal eggs from his colony and touch on the joy of new chicks.

  128. alice says:

    Wow I love Jenny Colgan’s books!
    Fantastic giveaway – thanks Karen and I would absolutely love to win!

  129. Amy says:

    i would love to see a story that of him traveling the world and adventures after returning to the wild.

  130. Patrice says:

    Neil absolutely needs to find a lady puffin, settle on a nesting spot (after much discussion) and raise some babies. They could have all sorts of adventures fighting off preditors, including people. Throw in a naturalist/environmentalist to tie in a lesson about protecting the environment for the puffins.

  131. trainlady says:

    Puffins and polar bears (a baby one anyway).

  132. stgilbert says:

    Oh, I love this book so much!! What a delightful story – one my daughter would love! The cover and illustrations are also lovely – they remind me of the ones from Brigit Figit. So fun!

  133. Suzanne says:

    They should go to the aquarium.

  134. Jennifer says:

    I would love to hear about him visiting the various puffin colonies. We were disappointed that we were in Scotland the wrong month for puffins. But if he decides to go adventuring (lobbying Congress in the US for environmental concerns?) maybe he could visit us in Washington DC

  135. bayeaston says:

    Puffin could bring friends on return visits–a seal would be nice! Lots of opportunities to learn about all these different creatures. What a great day job! I’m a huge fan of children’s lit with quite a collection of books. I shall have to watch for this one.

  136. Jackie says:

    In September 2001 I flew in a tiny plane across a very turbulent North Sea to the volcanic island of Heimay to see Neil & his friends – but all the puffins had gone to sea for the winter. So I occupied myself walking up the still warm volcano, visiting a garden made in the lava by a couple, who everyday took bags of soil to the lava sea & planted seeds; & watched the whale from ‘Free Willy’ being fed by the US navy whilst he lived in luxury in an island harbour. At the end of the day the coach driver came to where I was sitting with a shoe box. Inside was the ugliest chick I had ever seen! He had been left behind on the school football pitch & the driver was raiding him by hand until his family & friends returned the next Spring. Was Neil one of those puffins who went to sea, leaving behind a chick?

  137. Ryann says:

    Neil sets up a little shop for his puffin friends – sewing shop, naturally. :). He can regale his customers with tales of Polly.

  138. Kat says:

    I’m supporting all the wishes for Neil to have some international travel – as someone who happily lives in the Southern Hemisphere I would love for Neil to visit New Zealand and befriend some our little blue penguins and our hoiho penguins

  139. Gill de la motte says:

    Maybe he should learn to sew pyjama bottoms in Walthamstow then make lots of other pyjama bottoms for his puffin colony!

  140. Katrin says:

    Neil should travel to the South Pole and encounter some penguins. Confusion alert. They look similar but can’t fly.
    The book looks great. I hope I can order it to Germany.

  141. Clare says:

    I think every puffin story should start with them eating a bowl of cornflakes, because whenever I see a picture of one I always think that’s what they have done and just forgotten to wipe their mouths!
    You will never look at a puffin the same again!

  142. Nessa says:

    Sounds lovely! I’d like Neil to explore the varied coastal environments using lots of habitat words in the text. Then he could meet a group of puffins and go on an adventure together across the sea.

  143. Miriam says:

    this is so lovely on so many levels – warms the cockles of my heart as a teacher, writer in progress and lover of all beautiful picture books. Next adventure would be befriending a little lost creature in need of some support and love whilst they adventure around a beautiful city. My fingers are so crossed because I want to be part of this lovely story of a book coming to life xx

  144. susancarey says:

    I would like to see Neil and Polly reunited on a barge holiday along Dutch canals. Along the way they could go skating, learn about wind energy and best of all, sample poffertjes! Poffertjes are mini-pancakes which all adults and children love. A wealth of adventures await them in the Netherlands; visit Amsterdam, meet the beautiful black Freisian horses and Polly could learn to ride and/or go sailing on the Ijsselmeer (formerly Zuiderzee).

  145. Funnygrrl says:

    What a delightful book! I hope to see puffins during my trip to Iceland this May.
    I would love to read about a puffin visiting Canada. Maybe visiting his cousin puffins in Newfoundland!

  146. Katherine says:

    Puffins are the best! This does sound like a lovely storybook!

    As to a new adventure for Neil, I think he should learn about different forms of travel – like take a train, a plane, go on a dog sledding race, helicopter! So many options! But then he realizes how much he loves to fly 🙂

  147. lovelucie1 says:

    I think Neil should go to puffin island off Anglesey (North Wales) and have an adventure helping out a lost novice Welsh fisherman with ………a broken arm!

  148. raquel form JC says:

    I think it should go to the Caribbean, warm weather, exotic birds, all new and different. Go to the beach and find pelicans and sea creatures! I’m sitting here in Tennessee watching a “wonder winterland” in my back yard and I need some sand and beach!!!!

  149. Cammie says:

    Aw, Neil is adorable! My grandad used to own a narrowboat named Puffin, so I think Neil and Polly should take a trip up-river, meeting other birds as they go!

  150. Amanda says:

    Neil could meet a new friend, a polar bear maybe, and learn how to be friends with an animal so different from himself. Thank you for the giveaway! I’ve been eyeing this blouse since it came out.

  151. Alison says:

    we need to follow Neil on his journey to find a new home in the wild

  152. Lily says:

    I am in love with the book cover and what I could see of the illustration! I would love to read about little Neil and his adventures.
    I can really Neil inviting Polly to tour his favourite spots, like Iceland or Norway! It would be a really nice opportunity for children to discover these countries and their coasts!
    The best of luck for this little treasure of a book and well done to all the people responsible for its publication!

  153. edenz says:

    Perhaps Neil meets a migratory bird who travels further south for the winter, and when he gets there he realizes that he misses the wildness and beauty of the north.

  154. Jennie says:

    With a house full of little girls ….well four of them and a hubbie called Neil I think I will keep an eye out for this book, I love Jenny’s adult stories anyhow so I am sure the story of Neil the puffin will be wonderful.

  155. Sheena says:

    I’m pretty sure that, if I was a puffin, I might want to visit somewhere warm, for a change. 🙂

  156. Ali says:

    You should definitely make a sewing pattern for a puffin toy so people can make their own Neil …

  157. Ali says:

    Also i think he should have an adventure on a steam boat…

  158. Claire Ross says:

    I think Neil could be the type puffin who gets into all sorts of mischief! He could have adventures on land, at sea, in the air. He could meet a puffin girlfriend and they could ultimately have their own puffin family….all over a series of books of course!

  159. EmSewCrazy says:

    Ooh It looks lovely! Those illustrations especially! Thanks for sharing this little peek into your other life.
    Maybe Neil could become a super star and have to deal with fame and fortune but stay unspoiled and remind people of what is really important.

  160. Emma says:

    I think the puffin should go to Skomer Island and meet the seals and all the other puffins that gather there and maybe have a little adventure in the Marine Reserve or find a rabbit down the puffin holes or is it puffins down rabbit holes 😉

  161. chrl268 says:

    Thats a very very cute puffin 🙂 I think I’m going to agree with others – he should come to the southern hemisphere! Its lovely here in Australia 🙂

  162. Emma says:

    How about the story of Neil travelling back home. I’d love to see him reunited with his family! Thanks for such a great give away 😄

  163. Lara says:

    Perhaps Neil will find romance on his next adventure…thanks for the giveaway, Sewaholic’s Oakridge blouse is on my to-sew list, after the Tofino pjs.

  164. nuala12 says:

    What a lovely book! How about for the next adventure Neil goes to school with Polly for the day and all her classmates learn about puffins. Great giveaway x

  165. Congratulations! As another publishing bod I can totally relate to the feeling of exhilaration when finished copies land on your desk after a lot of hard work! There are so many brilliant adventures possible here – but since I associate Jenny Colgan most with her whovian alter-ego, JT Colgan, I reckon we could see Neil and Polly stumbling across a strange blue police box…

  166. Congratulations! As another publishing bod I can totally relate to the feeling of exhilaration when finished copies land on your desk after a lot of hard work! There are so many brilliant adventures possible here – but since I know Jenny Colgan to be something of a whovian, perhaps we could see Neil and Polly stumbling across a strange blue police box…

  167. Deborah says:

    the book looks lovely.. I bet my kids would love it. best not to ask them what his next adventure would be or he’d end up swimming with mermaids or encountering aliens or something crazy.

  168. Joen says:

    I think Neil needs to go on an adventure to the city and discover a love for music and finding new friends at the park. He’s very cute by the way!!

  169. Ann says:

    It would be lovely for Neil to find Puffin Island of the coast of North Wales near Llandudno and have an adventure with all the other puffins that live on the island.

  170. Vicki Halliday says:

    Looks like a lovely book! Well done. I still love picture books. I think Polly & Neil should take a train to the city & visit a museum to discover dinosaurs & whales. That’s also one of my favourite stories that I still love to play out from time to time in the real world.

  171. Carrie B says:

    Neil the Puffin should learn how to make muffins

  172. I love the idea of Neil travelling to different countries, but perhaps with the added twist of trying to find his ancestors? Such lovely illustrations and layout (great job, all!). Thanks for such a fun giveaway – I’m really interested in this book now!

  173. Michelle Trompetta says:

    I live in Connecticut in the North East US, so no puffins here. But if Neil is going into the wild alone, he might want to visit America. He couldn’t fly the whole way without resting, therefore he might take refuge on a freighter or Navy ship along the way and make some new friends! He could go to Hawaii and learn to surf, then move on to California to play with the seals…always ready for a new adventure! This looks like a lovely book for the family to read.

  174. Dalila says:

    Neil could help someone else. If that someone is from a different background (aka species) it could work around the idea of the differences between cultures and how those differences don’t have to do with being better than the other one.

  175. Clare says:

    Great giveaway. perhaps Neil would like to pay a visit to deepest darkest Yorkshire….or Wales where there be dragons!

  176. deadlycraft says:

    I used to confuse puffins and penguins when I was little – I think Neil should go looking for his family, via a whole bunch of other monochromatic friends 🙂

  177. Liza Jane says:

    I had a puffin tote bag as a kid that was my absolute favorite. I still have memories of carrying around books in it (and I was little!). I wonder if puffins have picnics like teddy bears?

  178. Fan says:

    Such cute puffin!
    I think it’s be great for Neil to go through a city before he joins his family/home in the wild – that way he could teach children about safety measures to take in the city (always look twice before crossing a street…), and the great stuff as well. He could go to a park and meet cousin birds, swans, ducks, pigeons and the like 🙂

  179. Jenna says:

    My daughter would love this book, she used to call puffins muffins when she was younger! I just asked her what she thought a puffin should do and she said get stuck on a lake! Or sit on the sand and watch while she walks our dog!

  180. rachsews says:

    I like the idea of an eco theme to a book about a puffin – something that can illustrate the dangers of littering to the readers; Neil could find himself in a situation of “mild peril” (clearly ramping up the dramatic tension here), involving a plastic bag or a soft drink can, but would ultimately be helped/rescued by another child.

  181. Such a cute book – and knowing that Janene/Ooobop did the page design makes it even more special. Perhaps the little puffin would like to venture up the Hudson River in North America to see all the sights …

  182. Oh my goodness look at all these comments…you have hooked us all up into the magically happy world of children’s books. I think Neil should become a hat collector and what ever hat he finds dictates his latest venture? I also think he should go and live on puffin island in wales?
    bestest luck with this wonderful project,
    Daisy j x

  183. Fiona Gibbs says:

    What a great book! My nieces and nephew love penguins – I think Neil should learn to sew … I can imagine him getting up to all sorts of mischief trying to create something to wear or making someone a special gift!!

  184. Neil next adventure will be exploring the pantanal. There he will be a boto ( a fresh water pink animal that looks like a dolphin) native from the area. Together they will have many adventures exploring the differences between the dry and wet season and how the plants and animals survive.

  185. Robin says:

    Neil would have to learn about fitting in to puffin society. Oh, and a second adventure could be about taking care of the environment, because we can’t have enough of those, in my opinion. You have a great job!

  186. I hope this book will be available n the U.S. soon. I agree that Neil should travel. I love to see maps accompany a story even if it is inside the covers so my students can see where in the world the unfolds.

  187. Alison says:

    Great little book. I remember Neil from Little Beach Street Bakery, cute little character. I think he should be blown off course on one his flights and end up in the Isles of Scilly and become a lucky mascot for a gig racing team.

  188. coleen says:

    Perhaps Neil could travel to the US? I have a 6 year old who would love this book.

  189. susan says:

    This looks like a lovely book. Neil should have an adventure where he meets other birds and learns how they live.

  190. Michelle robertson says:

    What a cute little book, perhaps he’s souls take a trip to skomer island off the south coast of Wales, which is more commonly known round here as puffin island, he could do a bit of seal spotting while there.

  191. Eliza-sew-little says:

    I’d love to know how the puffin finds a mate and which burrow they choose. Eggs? Will they survive the gannets? It’s not easy being a puffin chick and even harder being a puffin parent. A tale of parental emotion as they watch their offspring leave the nest for the wide world.

  192. lulusews says:

    Lovely book. I think he should go Italy, definitely Milan.

  193. I used to work with children’s books all day too, and loved my job. I think Polly’s puffin should come back and see her perhaps with a new friend. The fabric in the giveaway is beautiful too. Would love to win.

  194. What a beautiful book – I am sure my two girls would love it. For the next adventure I think Neil should go and visit all of the different puffin colonies around the world, taking Polly with him as they learn about other countries and also how other types of ‘family’ live together – whether in a big community or a close knit unit.

  195. Neil sounds like quite the adventurer. I think he would want to explore and meet the amazing wildlife in Africa. My grandson, Michael, would love this book. Thanks for sharing!

  196. cathi says:

    Neil should definitely go on more adventures and visit other places! Maybe find all the different kinds of puffins and then branch out into other types of coastal birds?

  197. Karen says:

    Hi there, lovely book and lovely blog. I can imagine Neil returning to the wild looking for a home and mistakenly camping with a rabbit family in their burrow! Maybe even using his acquired nursing skills to aid a baby rabbit with a sore paw…
    And the idea above of you creating a Neil toy is genius!

  198. J says:

    Polly is planning a party for someone. Neil helps (kind of). Polly makes a cake and Neil gets cake mix all over his feathers. Polly blows up balloons (difficult for a wee girl) and Neil pops them with his beak/claws.

  199. genya says:

    Neild could make a trip around the world and miss Polly, because there is no place like home.

  200. Kate says:

    Gorgeous looking book, I love puffins! I was on a cruise through a harbour the other day and saw the most amazing lighthouse, I was thinking maybe Neil could move to a lighthouse and be threatened by an eviction from the lighthouse keeper…in the end they all learn to get along and coexist together.

  201. Maria says:

    The book is adorable and I would love to win a copy along with the wonderful sewing goodies! So here goes: Neil makes friends with a lighthouse keeper. Unfortunately, the keeper might have to leave the lighthouse because the owner is selling it. Neil comes up with a plan to help the keeper. He invites the townspeople to a big party at the lighthouse. They’re all excited because they’ve never seen a lighthouse up close. At the party Neil unveils a big sign ‘Lighthouse Tours £–.’ The townspeople are all excited to go inside the lighthouse and soon word spreads and more and more people come to visit. Soon the lighthouse keeper has enough money to buy the lighthouse. Neil then flies off to his next adventure with the light from the lighthouse guiding his way.

  202. Neil should come to Ireland on a camper van holiday, go to the coast and meet a local Puffin with an Irish accent – he/she could teach Neil some Irish dancing!

  203. emmabeaty95 says:

    I think that Neil should do some traipsing around the highlands of Scotland. I am in love with the idea of Scotland and am currently trying to find some decent fiction about it. All I have been able to discover thus far is trashy romance novels that are of no use to anyone! Blech! I appreciate the illustrations. So many of the newer pictures books can lean towards bizarre artwork, but Polly and the Puffin harks back to the illustration style of some of my favourite (older) picture books.
    Thank you for posting about this book. I did not realize that you were involved in the publishing industry. I have always imagined you as a sewing ninja who creates amazing clothes with a flick of her wrist. Not really, but I have never thought of you doing anything but sewing and blogging. Thank you for offering this giveaway to all of us!

  204. Almond Rock says:

    I think neil either needs to work out what kind of bird he is (if he doesn’t already know). Or a getting home story, returning him to his nest?

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