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Ptarmigan Books – A Puzzle

While doing some research for a feature, I came across a Penguin imprint I hadn’t seen before – Ptarmigan Books. I knew it was Penguin immediately, not just from the name (though I suspected, because they do have a theme – Penguin, Pelican, Puffin… why not Ptarmigan?) but also because the cover art struck me. With the color block and the font choice and placement, they looked distinctly Penguin-like, and the logo – a large, inflated ptarmigan encapsulating the title and author information – kind of looked like a giant, bloated penguin, actually.

(Also, it says “Published by Penguin books”).

But that’s about all I could find out. There aren’t many Ptarmigan Books available for sale on the site, andf I could find very little information about the Ptarmigan brand, which seems to have been short-lived. From what I could find, the Ptarmigan name appeared in the mid-1940s on penguin books devoted to puzzles, trivia, word games and the like. And almost all of them were written by a man named Hubert Phillips, who was an English economist, journalist and author, as well as an expert on puzzles and games. I love these covers.

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