Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Magic Pudding” as Want to Read:
The Magic Pudding
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Magic Pudding

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  3,034 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
The adventures of those splendid fellows Bunyip Bluegum, Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff, the penguin bold, and of course their amazing, everlasting and very cantankerous Puddin'.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published 1970 by Penguin Books (first published 1918)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Magic Pudding, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Magic Pudding

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCulloughA Town Like Alice by Nevil ShuteTomorrow, When the War Began by John MarsdenCloudstreet by Tim WintonPicnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
Best Books Set in Australia
18th out of 587 books — 394 voters
Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by Hiawyn OramLittle House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls WilderCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald DahlRamona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
Books for eight-year-old children
185th out of 582 books — 604 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 06, 2013 Manny rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear and Voltaire
Recommended to Manny by: notgettingenough and her mother
"Gentlemen," said the Judge, "I must remind you that we require a Review!"

"We don't needs no Review," replied Sam rudely, "We just needs to get away from them rascally Puddin'-thieves." And he pointed to the Wombat and the Possum, lurking in the comment thread, who looked up with a guilty start.

"Ignore his foolish protestations, your honour," said the Wombat hurriedly. "I am merely a connoisseur of the late Marcel Proust, who has wandered in here for a momentary break from the rigours of Doo cot
Phillip Pullman says The Magic Pudding, Being the Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and his friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff is his favourite book. He maintains that it is, "the funniest children's book ever written." And the "New York Review of Books" calls it, "Wild and woolly, funny and outrageously fun." It certainly is extremely silly and engaging, this Australian children's story, a classic from 1918. Written and illustrated by Norman Lindsay, it is partly a narrative, and partly in rhymin ...more
Mar 28, 2016 Dov rated it really liked it
Read this one a while ago. Just remembering it for reasons too complicated and silly to repeat here. This is pretty absurd fun about a living and treacherous pudding and its travel companions (as all keepers of the pudding come to discover, it's hard to be in possession of a pudding that everybody wants). That's about all I remember. I was at a friend's house when I read it -- was babysitting and reading the book with a nine year old and we were laughing quite a bit. We didn't get through the wh ...more
I couldn’t remember whether I’d ever read this before or not, and now I’m finished, I’m still not sure!

It is a children’s book, but a classic one - not sure how many kids of today would read it. It is funny - about a pudding which no matter how much you eat never gets consumed, and the pudding owners and some pudding stealers. All very silly, but in a good way, but I have to say, I feel a bit sorry for the pudding owners - I know I would get heartily sick of steak and kidney pie, boiled jam roll
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
I had a big reorganising of my bookshelves a few weeks ago, and found, tucked away on the bottom shelf of one bookcase alongside random books - Japanese dictionaries and textbooks, old teen books from when I was a teen, a Jamima Puddleduck book and various other odds and ends - this old Australian classic. Norman Lindsay is a famous Australian artist, poet and author - I hope that Australians today still know who he is but I wouldn't be surprised - saddened, yes, but not surprised - to discover ...more
Jan 07, 2009 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Ok yes, the premise of this book is really bizarre, but it is a great book. I remember reading this book and absolutely loving it as a kid.

Synopsis taken from The Children's Book Review August 2008 (

The Magic Pudding is a pie, except when it's something else, like a steak, or a jam donut, or an apple dumpling, or whatever its owner wants it to be. And it never runs out. No matter how many slices you cut, there's always something left over. It's magic.

Jonathan Allen
Oct 12, 2011 Jonathan Allen rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It was my favourite when I was a kid and it is still my favourite kid's book. I didn't know it was Australian when I was six or whenever it was I first read it, although the animals were all Australian and it was set in Australia. I didn't locate it anywhere geographically. It was book. The rules are different ;-) Books happen in Bookspace'. But now, I have to mentally transpose the dialogue into an Aussie accent, which is fun, and gives such bits of dialogue as "I'll take and ...more
Cat {Wild Night In}
May 17, 2013 Cat {Wild Night In} rated it it was amazing
A friend who I'd not properly spoken to in almost 2 years liked this book so much that she sent me a copy of this. Any book that gets you in touch with a school friend deserves to be respected for its power. A book that makes you laugh and remember the wonder of the trippy stories devoured as a child (whilst making you darn hungry) deserves to be treasured and re-read at a later date.

This story managed to combine all those qualities. Imagine a band of adventures, bound together in their quest t
Jun 28, 2010 Emma rated it it was amazing
I think I somehow missed reading this classic Australian children’s book when I was little, but the image of the rather contemptuous plump little pudding propped up by his long spindly legs and wearing a basin for a hat is certainly one I’ve always been familiar with.

Written nearly 100 years ago now I don’t know how appropriate this would be considered for children today – it’s age shown in the regular bouts of violence, lack of female characters, slightly un-PC references to ‘natives’ and Jews,
Apr 14, 2012 Ensiform rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
A children’s book, written in 1918. Bunyip, a koala, runs away from home because he can’t stand his Uncle’s whiskers, and meets a sailor and a penguin who own a magic pudding. The puddin’ is an irritable fellow, always insulting them, and is contemptuous of how little they eat of it. (It magically replenishes; also, it can be any kind of puddin’ or pie.) But there are a couple of dangerous puddin’ thieves about with a flair for disguise, and despite the trio’s watchfulness, the puddin’ is always ...more
Peter Metcalfe
Feb 11, 2016 Peter Metcalfe rated it it was amazing
an absolute classic Australian bringing bush creatures alive and bringing great words for all to read , not just children
Daniel Lieberman
Jul 03, 2014 Daniel Lieberman rated it really liked it
"The plain truth was that Bunyip and his Uncle lived in a small house in a tree, and there was no room for the whiskers. What was worse, the whiskers were red, and they blew about in the wind, and Uncle Wattleberry would insist on bringing them to the dinner table with him, where they got in the soup. His Uncle refused to listen to reason on the subject of his whiskers. It was quite useless giving him hints, such as presents of razors, and scissors, and boxes of matches to burn them off."

This is
Jun 17, 2014 Taruia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who enjoy walloping
Shelves: fiction
I thoroughly enjoyed this. Read whilst at Mum+Dads supervising tradespeople not stealing anything. I had a choice of between this, Blinky Bill, Dot and the Kangaroo, Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie and a raft of Reader's Digest rubbish ... so to the children's section I went. Written by renown Australian painter Norman Lindsay whose greatest modern achievement was to inspire a film in which Elle MacPherson got completely starkers (I'll give you a minute to 'Google-image' that ... right welcome back). ...more
Aug 23, 2016 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Every Australian child should have access to a copy of 'The Magic Pudding'. It is a rambunctious, hilarious, surreal and very, very Australian story, from a period where our national literature was in its first major flourishing. Albert the Pudding is a wonderfully garrulous character, and in my opinion the real (anti) hero of the story. Bunyip Bluegum the grandiloquent koala is a perfect foil to the more combative Bill and Sam, whilst their adversaries the puddin' thieving possum and wombat get ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Bette rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s
This book came to my attention via a NY Times review of the Grolier Club exhibition "One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature." I'd never heard of the book, but my Australian student tells me that all kids in that country know it well. So I read it. I found it cute, but I certainly didn't find it, as Phillip Pullman does, the funniest book I ever read. I thought Albert the pudding was very funny, but I wish he'd had a larger role. And I love the picture of him walking on his spindly leg ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Not quite as good as Carroll - the premise is suitably random, the characters hilarious and the illustrations are absolutely brilliant, but everyone breaks into song a little too often and the illustrations render a lot of the text redundant. Still, a most charming and entertaining little book.
Dec 16, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it
What if animals could talk, and pudding is magical in a way, it would seem like a crazy dream. Well that dream might come true in the Magic Pudding. Norman Lindsey, an Australian writer, wrote the Magic Pudding. The book entertains its readers with singing animals and laughable moments. Characters like Bunyip Bluegum, the koala, keeps the reader entertained throughout the whole book by using humor and sense to figure things out. The characters have to encounter problems with others like wombats, ...more
Jan 26, 2014 Beckie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
A swagman, a koala and a penguin alternately try to protect and rescue their unending, flavour-changing magic pudding. I remembered more wacky hijinks and fewer songs. It still had some amusing parts, but I was glad it was quite a short book.
Leo Kwon
Jan 03, 2015 Leo Kwon rated it it was amazing
This book is full of humor and rhyme. This book is about 3 pudding owners( Bunyip Bluegum the koala, Bill Barnacle the sailor and Sam Sawnoff the penguin.) who has a Magic pudding which can change into other foods and will never shrink no matter how much you eat. Also they have to protect their pudding from the 2 pudding thieves, Possum and Wombat. The pudding owners get their pudding stolen repeatedly and also gets them back repeatedly. Although this book is full of humor its not filled with ki ...more
How would you imagine if every animal could talk had their own personalities and even a talking meat pudding with 2 guards? This book is The Magic Pudding, the author of this book is Norman Lindsay. There's a lot of things I liked about this book, like how every character had a really different personality. It makes it seem like humans are in the book as the characters but it's really animals, It makes it seem so real. Another thing I like about this book is the adventure they go through, it mak ...more
Nov 03, 2013 Ingrid rated it really liked it
I read this book when I was younger and have been reading it to my kids. It's hilarious and the illustrations are beautiful.
May 10, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You will like it. Read it aloud with a friend! Please contact me if you'd like to help me turn this one into an audiobook.
Sarah Clement
Feb 21, 2014 Sarah Clement rated it liked it
Yes, I am a 31 year old woman who spent part of her Saturday reading this book! I felt like this was an Australian cultural reference that was worth reading, and it certainly was. The book wasn't quite as cute as I expected it to be, though I did thoroughly enjoy the cantankerous pudding - even if it was a bit morbid how much he enjoyed being eaten! It was longer than I expected, for a children's book, and I actually think it's probably much better read aloud, in many different voices. I am glad ...more
David Haberlah
Dec 17, 2015 David Haberlah rated it it was ok
First of all this is clearly NOT children literature, even though it was intended as such some 100 years ago. Neither language, story line, conduct of the characters are easily comprehendible for young readers (or adequate for that matter!). The same goes for the many songs (which are of course still enjoyable to sing aloud).

As for 21st century grownups, this book does offer a number of violently amusing passages. It is just that the choice of English language is not only dated but also pretenti
Apr 22, 2011 Gavin added it
bed time story for ms5 at the mo
Lilac Mohr
Sep 10, 2016 Lilac Mohr rated it liked it
Shelves: read-alouds
My family had mixed feelings about this book. There isn't much of a plot - the pudding owners and pudding thieves trick (and fight) each other for control of a talking pudding. Where the book shines, however, is the language and the use of clever "songs" (poems) throughout. One of my twin daughters (age 7) loved the humor and poems (which were also fun for me to read/sing). She begged for more, while the other twin and my 5-year-old boy groaned and wandered off to play. We might try reading it a ...more
May 24, 2015 Becky rated it really liked it
Several years ago, I read Norman Lindsay's The Magic Pudding. I loved it. I did. I really LOVED it. I found it to be charming and delightful and wonderful. Part of the charm comes from the illustrations. Part of it comes from the songs or the poetry sprinkled throughout the novel. And then there's just the silliness--the absurdness--of the story itself.

The Magic Pudding stars a koala bear, Bunyip Bluegum. He goes off on his adventures primarily because he's tired of his Uncle Wattleberry's whis
Dec 19, 2014 Jane rated it liked it
I saw this at the Grolier Club's current exhibition of 100 Great Books in Children's Literature. Hmm. I bet they fought over whether to include it, and that it sneaked in at 98 or 99. Wizard of Oz? Yes. Winnie The Pooh? Sure. Nancy Drew, Eloise and Madeline? Yes, yes yes. But the Magic Pudding?
That said, it's a very funny book with an engagingly old-fashioned turn of phrase and some charming illustrations, but great? Maybe if you're Australian.
Apr 24, 2011 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite-books
The Magic Pudding is a wonderful story with brilliant illustrations by one of Australia's finest artists. Norman Lindsay wrote The Magic Pudding to win a bet, which is surely an Australian reason to write. The bet was to write a story about food that would be interesting to children, instead of a fairy story.
Lindsay has made a funny wise and wonderful tale, full of impossible situations that are a joy to behold. The tone is distinctly Australian, with jokes about authority, pompousness, and the
I could not remember if I had read this book, so rather than quibble about the point, I decided to read the book either for the first time or for the second time.

I really enjoyed the book, I love the language and I love the drawings. Everything about this book is perfect because it is just so silly.

Bunyip Bluegum 'assuming an air of pleasure' sets off the see the world as he can no longer share with his Uncle on account of the length of his whiskers. Bunyip meets Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Blinky Bill
  • The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
  • The Muddle-Headed Wombat
  • Seven Little Australians (Woolcots, #1)
  • My Place
  • Storm Boy
  • Possum Magic
  • John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat (Picture Puffin)
  • Wombat Stew
  • 100万回生きたねこ (The Cat Who Lived a Million Times)
  • The Adventures of Maya the Bee
  • The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch (Picture Books)
  • Fortunes of Richard Mahony
  • A Lion in the Meadow (Picture Puffin)
  • Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain
  • Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse
  • Mr. Majeika
  • Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish
Norman Alfred William Lindsay was an Australian artist. Lindsay was born in Creswick, Victoria. He was a prolific artist, sculptor, writer, editorial cartoonist and scale modeler, as well as being a highly talented boxer.

Norman was the son of Irish surgeon Robert Charles William Alexander Lindsay and Jane Elizabeth Lindsay from Creswick. Fifth of ten children, he was the brother of Percy Lindsay (
More about Norman Lindsay...

Share This Book

“Apologies are totally inadequate,' shouted Uncle Wattleberry. 'Nothing short of felling you to the earth with an umbrella could possibly atone for the outrage. You are a danger to the whisker-growing public. You have knocked my hat off, pulled my whiskers, and tried to remove my nose.” 1 likes
“Rumpus Bumpus,” 0 likes
More quotes…