The Magic Pudding: Being the Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and his friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff

The Magic Pudding: Being the Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and his friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff

by Norman Lindsay
     
 

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The Magic Pudding

Being the Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and his friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff

By Norman Lindsay

The Magic Pudding: Being The Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and his friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff is an Australian children's book written and illustrated by Norman Lindsay. It is a comic fantasy, and a classic of

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Overview

The Magic Pudding

Being the Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and his friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff

By Norman Lindsay

The Magic Pudding: Being The Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and his friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff is an Australian children's book written and illustrated by Norman Lindsay. It is a comic fantasy, and a classic of Australian children's literature.

The story is set in Australia with humans mixing with anthropomorphic animals. It tells of a magic pudding which, no matter how often it is eaten, always reforms in order to be eaten again. It is owned by three companions who must defend it against Pudding Thieves who want it for themselves.

The book is divided into four "slices" instead of chapters. There are many short songs interspersed throughout the text, varying from stories told in rhyme to descriptions of a character's mood or behaviour, and verses of an ongoing sea song.

Wanting to see the world, Bunyip Bluegum the koala sets out on his travels, taking only a walking stick. At about lunchtime, feeling more than slightly peckish, he meets Bill Barnacle the sailor and Sam Sawnoff the penguin who are eating a pudding. The pudding is a magic one which, no matter how much one eats it, always reforms into a whole pudding again. He is called Albert, has thin arms and legs and is a bad-tempered, ill-mannered so-and-so into the bargain. His only pleasure is being eaten and on his insistence, Bill and Sam invite Bunyip to join them for lunch. They then set off on the road together, Bill explaining to Bunyip how he and Sam were once shipwrecked with a ship's cook on an iceberg where the cook created the pudding which they now own.

Later on they encounter the Pudding Thieves, a possum and a wombat. These nasty varmints are scum of the earth, barely fit to own the air that fills their lungs. Bill and Sam bravely defend their pudding while Bunyip sits on Albert so that he cannot escape while they are not looking. Later that night sitting round the fire, Bill and Sam, grateful for his contributions of the day, invite Bunyip to join them and become a member of the Noble Society of Pudding Owners.

Later the next day, through some well-thought-out trickery, the Pudding Thieves make a successful grab for the Pudding. Upset and outraged, Bill and Sam fall into despair and it is up to Bunyip to get them to pull themselves together and set off to rescue their Pudding. In the course of tracking down the Pudding Thieves they encounter some rather pathetic and unsavoury members of society, but eventually manage to get led to the Pudding Thieves' lair. Bunyip's cleverness lures the robbers into a trap from where Bill and Sam's fists do the rest and they retrieve their pudding.

Some time later the Pudding Thieves approach the three Pudding Owners proclaiming that they bear gifts of good will and will present them to the pudding owners if they would only look inside a bag they have with them. When doing so they pull it over their heads and tie it up leaving them defenceless as the thieves take their pudding and run off.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I think it’s the funniest children’s book ever written.  One of the great strengths of the book is its illustration, by Lindsay himself. He was best known as a visual artist, producing thousands of paintings, etchings, drawings, and sculptures, but his pictures for The Magic Pudding are his best work, in my view. They are so vigorous and absurd, so strongly characterized and brilliantly detailed, that my eye delights in them still.”—  Philip Pullman on his favorite children’s book, Publishers Weekly, December 2015
"A robust fantasy, The Magic Pudding was first published in 1918 but shows few signs of its age. It’s part of a handsome, new collection of reprints, published by The New York Review of Books, aimed at rescuing neglected children’s classics from 'the dustbins of history'. There’s no dust on Lindsay’s quirky tale about the adventures of Bunyip Bluegum, an irrepressible, polite young koala. He meets various eccentric characters who bust into song and rhyme. In the introduction to the new edition, Philip Pullman, author of The Amber Spyglass, calls Lindsay’s work 'the funniest children’s book ever written…You can feel Lindsay carried away on the wings of his own energy'.”
USA Today, “Holiday Books”

"The illustrations are great fun, the characters burst into comic verse at the drop of a hat, and it’s hard to resist."
The Horn Book

"The book is full of songs that pitch along like boats on a rough sea. The tremendous black and white drawings are full of ne’er do well character…It is an outrage that it is not on every English family’s menu."
The Observer

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781502908759
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
10/20/2014
Pages:
66
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.14(d)

Meet the Author

Norman Lindsay (1879-1969) was born in Victoria, Australia, the fifth of ten children, several of whom grew up to be artists. At age seventeen, he left home and traveled to Melbourne, where he found work as an illustrator. Famously prolific in many mediums, Lindsay produced countless oil paintings, drawings, etchings, and watercolors, as well as eleven novels. He was famous, too, for the countless controversies he happily provoked throughout his long life. As his granddaughter later explained: “He fought the wowsers, he fought the hypocrites, the people that were going to stop and stifle creative freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of thought.”
        Norman Lindsay’s home is now a museum of his works run by Australia’s National Trust. After entertaining generations of young Australians, The Magic Pudding is recognized as a classic of children’s literature, and in 2000 a sculpture of Bunyip Bluegum and friends (including the Puddin’ itself) was unveiled as the centerpiece of the children’s garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.

Philip Pullman is the author of the trilogy His Dark Materials, the third book of which, The Amber Spyglass, was the first children’s book to win the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in the UK. He spent part of his childhood in Australia, where he first encountered The Magic Pudding. He now lives and works in Oxford, England.

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