The Island Friends Bookshop

Reviews and recommendations: Read what people say about the Island Friends Books

Order the Island Friends books below via PayPal or your credit/debit card.
P&P prices are for delivery within the UK only (please email us for International Shipping info).   


Buy all 6 books in the series for £24 + £3.50 P&P

Buy the full set of six limited first edition hardback books today for £24 (RRP £48) or order each book separately below.
To order the full set simply click ‘buy now’ below.

Buy All Six Books for £24 + P&P 


Individual Titles

Buy individual titles below for £7.99 each plus P&P


Book 1: Welcome Home Puffin Pal
Puffin Pal and his family make the long journey back to Lucky Island after a winter at sea…but will he make it safely home? A story about imagination, perseverance and having a positive attitude.

Pal_and_the_Surprise_Party_B5_CoverBook 2: Pal and the Surprise Party
Puffin Pal helps to organise a surprise birthday party for his Auntie Pam, and learns that some things are more important than presents… A story about community, being positive, and valuing non-material things.

Pals_Journey_To_The_Centre_Of_The_Island_B5_coverBook 3 – Pal’s Journey to the Centre of the Island
Puffin Pal and his friends go on an adventure as they get lost in the maze of burrows under Lucky Island. A story about seeing possibilities, teamwork, and overcoming challenges.

Puffin Pal and the Golden FeatherBook 4: Puffin Pal and the Golden Feather
After a stormy night on Lucky Island, Puffin Pal finds a mysterious golden feather that leads him and his best friend Roy on another island adventure. A story about helping others, solving problems, and teamwork.

Puffin Pal and the Monster Next DoorBook 5: Puffin Pal and the Monster Next Door
Puffin Pal’s imagination runs wild when he sees a pair of eyes peering out at him from the burrow next to his. Could a monster have moved in next door? A story about imagination, being brave and conquering your fears.

9780992666354Book 6: Buzz Off Puffin Pal!
Puffin Pal is hungry, so he picks bunches of flowers to swap for sand eels with his friends – but the bees aren’t happy…look out Puffin Pal! A story about bouncing back after setbacks, looking after the environment and collaboration.

Our thanks go to the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales for their support in developing these books – please consider becoming a member today to help protect our precious wild places for future generations.

*For international delivery, trade orders, schools or libraries please contact us at

UnLtd Award Winners

Island Friends Bookseller and Retailer Guide


Welcome to the Island Friends series of children’s books for ages 2-7.  The books feature ‘Puffin Pal’ (a very little puffin with a very purple beak) and his Island Friends on a series of adventure on ‘Lucky Island’…

We believe in helping young children make their own luck in life and would love to work with retailers and organisations who share these values – so here’s our quick guide to how to become a stockist of the Island Friends series…

Why stock the Island Friends books?

  1. Because it’s risk free, with good margins. We offer a Sale or Return deal with a competitive retailer discount. See ‘The Business Stuff’ below.
  2. Because people love them (who doesn’t love puffins!?).  See ‘Who will buy them?’ below.
  3. Because the books are excellent quality, lovingly crafted, designed and printed to the highest standards here in the UK. See
    ‘What are the books like?’ below.
  4. Because you believe in protecting our natural environment and creating sustainable futures for us all. See ‘Why did we publish these books?’ below.
  5. Because you believe in working with independent authors, artists, designers and publishers – supporting the creative industries and those who set up small businesses. See ‘How did we create the books?’ below.Book_Covers

The Business Stuff

We love working with independent retailers and organisations who share the same values as us.  Our intention is to support sustainable businesses and organisations who make the world a better place.

For retailers and booksellers in Wales we have a distribution agreement with the Welsh Books Council, so if you normally purchase via them, you can order the Island Friends books on a Sale or Return basis in the normal way.

For those outside Wales and other smaller retailers we also sell direct by purchase or Sale or Return, with an agreed retailer discount on the RRP of £7.99 per title.  Some retailers choose to offer the three books as a set for a lower retail price.  We will discuss initial quantities with you and deliver the  books locally free of charge.  We will agree a timeframe for stock checks and invoice you at that time for books sold (30 day payment).

If we agree a Sale or Return approach, we retain ownership of stock, and will keep in touch with you to check on sales and work with you on promotions etc to boost sales.  Any stock damaged in the store will be charged to you at your normal discount.

For larger retailers outside Wales we will discuss terms for purchasing larger quantities, shipping and distribution on a case by case basis.

We’ll always trade honestly and fairly with you, and trust that you will do the same by us. :)

Contact Us

If you’re interested in becoming a stockist please email us (Lucy and Chris) at hello@wearelucky or send us a message via our FB page or Twitter and we’ll get back to you by phone/email as soon as we can.

Who Will Buy Them?

The books have been designed for children aged 2-7 (although we know plenty of adults who also love ‘Puffin Pal’ and his friends).  The books feature characters based on real eco-systems and are ideal for those interested in wildlife, but also for any young children whatever their background.  They make ideal gifts, and are perfect for general gift shops, children’s stores, museums and wildlife-based attractions.

Parents and teachers love the ‘enterprise eggs’ concept which encourages children to ‘make their own luck’ in life, and the books are currently being used in several primary schools.  We are also developing additional teaching resources and parent/child activities which will be  available to download from our web site.

Here are just a couple of reviews and quotes about the books (for more see our FB page):

“The Island Friends stories offer a fantastic way for very young children to learn about wildlife and our natural environment whilst also developing those enterprising skills they will need to survive and adapt in our rapidly changing world. They’ll be a great resource for educators and for parents and guardians in helping children engage with these issues from their earliest years.”
Llinos Richards, Education Officer, Natural Resources Wales.

“We think they are fantastic.”
Giselle Eagle and Richard Brown, Skokholm Island Wardens.

“In the last two weeks, Puffin Pal has suddenly become his favourite book to read at bedtime!”
Al (Dad to Connor)

Read a recent review of the books by ‘Clever Tykes’

Why did we publish these books?

We believe that if children learn to be self-starters from a young age, they’ll be better equipped to ‘make their own luck’ in life, and that nature is the best example of this spirit in action.
We couldn’t find any books for young children out there that were aimed specifically at developing enterprising mindsets and ‘self-efficacy’ from their earliest years.
We also know how amazing nature is as an example of enterprising characteristics such as innovation, creative problem solving, adaptability, overcoming adversity and sheer perseverance.
We’ve brought these together in books that are fun, vibrant and engaging for young children (ages 2 to 7), but which also have really positive messages about the environment and a ‘make your own luck’ approach to life.
The Island Friends series of books, learning materials, games and resources, are stories with a purpose. They aim to instil in very young children an independent, enterprising and adventurous spirit, whilst also helping them learn about the natural environment.

What are the books like?

Self-publishing this first print run enabled us to retain control over the quality of the materials used and make sure the books are as wonderful as we wanted them to be.

We believe strongly in hand-crafted work, and wanted to make these books as beautiful as they are engaging.  We also want to make sure they have a low impact on the environment and that they are sourced and printed locally.  All books have ISBNs and barcodes for use with EPOS systems.

The Three Hardback Books


So, we found a wonderful, traditional print company – Gomer Press – and have worked closely with them on the specifications to ensure excellent quality, and a format that is comfortable for little hands to hold.  The hardback books are beautifully presented, and printed locally here in Wales on a lovely quality FSC approved paper stock. 


We’ve designed these books to be read either alone or with an adult and at 32-36 pages each, they are perfect as a bedtime story that you can talk through or interact with as you progress.  They’re B5 sized (17cm high x 24.5cm wide), and the bold covers make them look great on the shelf.  We’re working on Point Of Sale material (e.g. stands, shelf-talkers, augmented reality) – and are looking for retailers who would like to give feedback on this, so please let us know if you’d be willing to help with this.

How did we create the books?

We’ve spent the last year developing the characters, stories and artwork – writing and storyboarding, hand-making each character in felt, scanning them in, and completing the illustrations on screen.

Puffin Pal…from sketch…to felt…to screen…

sketch screen


The stories are located on and around an island we call ‘Lucky Island’, which is inspired by the islands off the Pembrokeshire Coast in our native Wales. So, we’ve tried to show the amazing creatures that populate these islands in the stories, which include information about the Manx Shearwaters, Razorbills, Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Fulmars, and other wildlife in ways that will help young children appreciate the need to protect their habitats for future generations.

Watch the video to find out more about the Islands

Each animal has its own unique abilities, but above all they are adaptable and enterprising. We wanted to make our stories simple yet meaningful, and create visuals that feel accessible to children who might want to draw or make their own characters and stories.

Simple shapes and natural materials like felt are used alongside digital techniques.

Creating the characters in our ‘Ideas Room’

The chaos in our 'ideas room' before shooting our Kickstarter video

We tested a prototype edition and continued to refine the books, spending time on Skokholm island to develop the characters and do some final editing (with the help of the fab folks at the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales – particularly Skokholm wardens Rich and Giselle – check out their blog here).

Final editing of the books at the Skokholm Island Lighthouse

Chris hangs the first book out to dry at the Skokholm Lighthouse

We used the crowdfunding platform ‘Kickstarter’ to fund our initial print run and gain pre-orders for the first three books, and gained national press coverage in the process.



You can check out the archived Kickstarter Project here.



Contact Us

If you’re interested in becoming a stockist please email us (Lucy and Chris) at hello@wearelucky or send us a message via our FB page or Twitter and we’ll get back to you by phone/email as soon as we can.

UnLtd Award Winners


Watch This! Start Up Kids

If you’ve ever thought of starting your own business, but thought you were too young, too old, didn’t know enough, or just didn’t have time, this is essential viewing.

Candid, open interviews with the founders and funders of some of the most successful (and unsuccessful) tech start-ups of recent years (think Vimeo, Dropbox, Soundcloud and more), this documentary takes a look at what it’ really like to build a tech company from scratch – with all the ups, downs and not quite sure which way is up moments.

Check out the Trailer below, then rent from iTunes here.

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Woohoo – We’ve got 20 Free Books to Give Away!

Did you know that it’s ‘World Book Night‘ this Tuesday (23rd April), a celebration of books, reading, and all things literary?

Well it is, and as we think it’s a brilliant event we volunteered a few months back to help out. So, we’re very excited to have been selected as ‘book givers’ for the event.

The books have arrived, now all we need are some willing readers, so read on to find out more about the books we have to give away and how you can get one for someone you know…

What’s this World Book Night thing all about? Book Night is a fantastic annual event where vast quantities of fantastic books are distributed for free to people across the UK.  It’s aim is to promote books and reading to those who would perhaps not normally read regularly.  The World Book Night team recruits 20,000 volunteers each year (book givers), to distribute 20 copies of a book they’ve chosen from a shortlist.  We love books and reading, so this year we applied to take part and were ‘lucky’ enough to be selected.   This means that we get to give away 20 copies of an amazing and inspiring book to people who will benefit in some way from reading and sharing it.  Cool, huh?

The book we’ve chosen: ‘A Little History of the World’ by E.H.Gombrich

We got to choose one book from a shortlist of fantastic titles (see below), but this one stood out.  If there’s one story you read in your life, this should be it, and it’s a true one….

E.H. Gombrich’s ‘A Little History of the World’ is the epic tale of human history, so strange and exciting that none of us could have imagined it.  He tells it with a vivacity and humour that make this unlike any other history book we’ve ever read.  It’s not long enough to put off the reluctant reader, and will keep you gripped until the end.

And, not only is it an inspiring tale of human endeavour, but it is an inspirational endeavour in and of itself. Written in an intense six week period between the first and second world wars, it represents an astounding achievement in writing.

Little did Gombrich know at the time of writing, however, that the tale of human history was about to take an even more cataclysmic turn in the decade that followed, and his final chapter, written later, reflects on the tumultuous period of history through which he himself lived, ending with an astute summary and prescient look forward at many of the challenges humanity has faced since his conclusion.

‘not only is it an inspiring tale of human endeavour,
but it is an inspirational endeavour in and of itself.’

He ends with the words ‘…we still have the right to go on hoping for a better future’, and he’s right, because without hope (always coupled with effort of course), what else do we have?

‘…we still have the right to go on hoping for a better future’
E.H. Gombrich

Know someone who would benefit from the book?

If you know someone (in or near South Wales)  who would like to read and share this book, and whom you believe would benefit from it, please email us at, tweet us at @We_are_lucky or leave a comment below.

We have 20 copies to give away on Tuesday 23rd April and will be arrange a ‘rendez-vous’ where you can pick one up…

Find more about World Book Night here.



Inspiration: Welsh Kids’ Team Making Their Own Luck

Ystradgynlais Under 11s Augmented Reality Rugby Shirt in action

You’ve all seen Kid President’s Pep Talk right?

Well, Wales has had its own national pep talk this past week, following the success of its rugby team in the recent Six Nations tournament, against the odds.

We love stories like that, where through commitment and dedication, people working together are able to achieve amazing things.

And while we’re all still on a high from that victory, we thought we’d share with you another amazing story; a local story that, while it may not have lifted the whole nation in the same way as the Six Nations rugby win, nevertheless shows how communities working together can achieve great things.

Community spirit

We’re proud to be based in the South Wales Valleys – it’s a stunning area of natural beauty and has some of the warmest, friendliest communities you’ll find on the planet.  The valleys have, however, had an image problem in recent years, and there is considerable youth unemployment in the area.

That’s where close knit communities and activities like sports and the arts can help get kids on the right track early on in life.  The local rugby club in Ystradgynlais is an example of a community doing just that.

They’ve built up a hugely successful kids rugby team, which everyone wants to be a part of.


Through innovation.

Innovating for success

The team, lead by coach Andrew Lloyd Hughes, recognised the need to stand out from the crowd, and that in order to recruit players and help the team achieve its goals they needed sponsorship and support from the wider community.

They set about creating innovative campaigns the promote the club and last year the team were ahead of the curve nationally by including QR codes on their rugby shirts.

The publicity they gained enabled them to raise enough funds for the whole team to travel to a European Rugby Festival in Holland this Easter and to further develop what the club can offer.

This year, in celebration of the 6 Nations win, they’ve gone one better, and with the help of Cardiff creative agency, Sugar, they’ve created what they believe to be the world’s first augmented reality rugby shirts.

The shirts, when scanned using a mobile device show a Welsh dragon roaring proudly from the centre of the players’ chests.

Inspiring the next generation

The team are rightly proud of their achievements, and those of their countrymen, and can’t wait to show off their hi-tech kit in Holland.

What an experience for those young people to travel and represent Wales overseas – these are the things that stay with you through life, and shape you as an individual.

We’re really proud to be supporting the team, and to have the ‘We Are Lucky’ featured on the back of their shirts.

We think it’s a fab, inspiring story, and just proves that when you start to look around and connect with people with the same mindset as you, you’ll find there are more people doing wonderful things out there than you had ever imagined.

Good luck in Holland Ystradgynlais Under 11s!  Cymru am byth!

Find out more about the team and their amazing augmented reality shirts >>


Quote of the week…

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Albert Einstein
Ah, but Albert you really were a genius…
Seriously though, we love this quote.

Everyone is great at something, whether it’s quantum physics, caring for sick people, or just being a good listener.
You’ve just got to keep looking until you find your genius, and just as importantly, have the courage to pursue it when you find it…

Self Organised Learning Environments

If you present people with problems, their natural curiosity, creativity and ability to collaborate will lead them to teach themselves to solve it.

This is the central idea of Sugata Mitra’s TED award-winning approach to learning called ‘SOLE’ (Self Organised Learning Environments).

The idea of self-organisation and collaborative learning is a tantalising prospect.  Is it time to ditch our Victorian model of education and perhaps even ditch the idea that we need formal schools?

“It’s not about making learning happen, it’s about letting it happen” Sugata Mitra

In a compelling argument for open access, self-organised learning  he asks “are we heading towards a situation where knowing is obsolete?”, and if so, what will self-organised problem solving enable us to do because we’re no longer holding on to knowing enough to pass the test?

Get involved

Step 1: Watch the video:

Step 2: Now, download the toolkit and get involved!


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Quote of the Week…

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan

In honour of the fab ‘Pep-Talk’ by Kid President, this week’s quote of the week is from Michael Jordan.  I guess what he’s saying is, that if you don’t always do it right that’s no problem, because if you keep doing it you’ll always get a reward in the end…even if that’s just the joy of doing something you love…

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