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The Magic Pudding

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  3,678 ratings  ·  171 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)
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,678 ratings  ·  171 reviews

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Jan 05, 2013 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
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: younger
"The funniest children's book ever written"? I don't think so. But then, Philip Pullman, who wrote the introduction, never struck me as being much good at humor himself. It's a fine introduction, though, especially for a children's book. Pullman obviously loves the puddin' adventures and his excitement about reading is clear.

The book itself is fun, cute, and clever. I don't think, even had I read it as a child, that it would have been dear to my heart they way it was to Pullman's: that characte
Bionic Jean
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

Albert (the magic pudding's name), was surrounded by his owners – Sailor Bill, Bunyip Bluegum and Sam Sawnoff. The pudding was steak and kidney, but when whistled at and turned around, it was something else. It also never ran out – because it was magic. The pudding thieves tried and tried again – but it always ended up back in the rightful owners’ hands.

The Magic Pudding is a delightful fable written by Aussie author and artist Norman Lindsay, back in 1918 for children everywhere. It’s bea
Paul Christensen
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-best
Norman Lindsay was one of Australia’s most famous and controversial artists, and his brilliant drawings alone would be reason enough to add The Magic Pudding to anyone’s library, but the text (which he also wrote) is bloody hilarious.

Which character is funniest - the hook-nosed, insolent parrot? The blooming old rooster with his singed feathers? Uncle Wattleberry, in full bounding and plunging mode? Or the Puddin’ himself, always eager to be eaten?

An utter classic from a high-yielding imaginati
Deborah Ideiosepius
I came to re-read this beloved book from my childhood recently as a kind of companion volume to the biography of it's author that I was at the time reading. Having read the circumstances around The Magic Pudding being written I simply had to re-read it.

It stands the tests of time very well, but with a few unusual conclusions. For example, I am not sure that it would be something the modern parent would be unequivocally enthusiastic about giving to a five year old; the protagonists are very ready
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
Dov Zeller
Mar 28, 2016 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
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 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 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
Paula Vince
This kids' classic is a bit like an Aussie version of The Wind in the Willows, and it's my choice for the Africa, Asia or Oceania section of the 2019 Back to the Classics Challenge. It was published in 1918, the year of my grandmother's birth. Bunyip Bluegum is a fashionable young koala who sets out to be a gentleman of leisure, until he gets too hungry. He befriends Barnacle Bill the sailor, and Sam Sawnoff the penguin, who own a magnificent pudding named Albert, with the ability to replenish h ...more
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I agree with whoever it was who declared this to be the funniest children's book ever written. But, as you'd expect from Norman Lindsay, it's certainly not a book just for kids. Lindsay was a brilliant visual artist, a member of the "heroic vitalist" movement that shocked the Christian and conformist Australia of his day - and also a profound writer of adult literature. All of this shines through in a work that is perfect for children but has other dimensions that adults can enjoy.

I was first i
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
The story is meandering and not particularly interesting (mostly people working themselves into righteous indignation and beating up the nearest foe), but Lindsay's language is wonderfully overwrought and filled with poetry and character.

Young kids may not understand why the turns of phrase are funny, but they'll hear the chuckle in your voice and they'll get the idea. I never got a complaint when I got this book off the shelf. Then again, I do just a terrific Bill Barnacle voice, ho ho!

This is
Distinctly remember reading this for the first time. I would have been in grade two, and I received it as a gift from my parents.

It was my sister's birthday, I think. Either way, there was a bunch of people at our house having loud fun and I snuck into the lounge-room in my much loved, filthy, purple dress. I curled up in one corner of the lounge and basically spent most of the day reading. This story just drew me in and it was the perfect literary challenge for me at that time. There were some
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A ridiculously funny and overdramatic bit of fun to read for all. I wish the book was longer but I adored that ending and all the adventures from beginning to end.

It reminded me a lot of the idea of Alice in Wonderland and Stuart Little. Though reading the latter THIS book is by far better.
This book was funny and some characters were very interesting. A meal that never runs out!
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Utterly delightful. I fell in love with Bunyip Bluegum, Bill Barnacle, Sam Sawnoff, and yes, even the rude, irascible Puddin'. The illustrations convey so much expression and humor, and the clever text and ridiculous plot had me chuckling. Highly recommended for fans of Lewis Carroll and the like.
Jun 26, 2010 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,
gemsbooknook  Geramie Kate Barker
The Magic Pudding follows the adventures of a young Koala; Bunyip Bluegum. On his journeys Bunyip Bluegum makes friends with sailor Bill Barnacle and penguin Sam Sawnoff and becomes part owner of a pudding. Not just any pudding, a magic pudding. On their travels the three friends and Albert the magic pudding must continually out wit the pudding thieves Possum and Wombat.

Written and illustrated by Norman Lindsay, The Magic Pudding: The Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and his friends Bill Barnacle an
{Wild Night In} Cat
May 17, 2013 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
Apr 14, 2012 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
Apr 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Love love love this book, and I can't understand why nobody I know has ever read this?! This book is unbelievably funny, right from page one. The pudding is my favourite character -- I love his sullen antics. I consider this a must-read for just about everyone, but especially for adults. Please read it!
Jan 26, 2014 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.
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.
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love the bits of poetry throughout.
Jan 18, 2011 added it
bed time story for ms5 at the mo
Peter Metcalfe
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
an absolute classic Australian bringing bush creatures alive and bringing great words for all to read , not just children
Nov 03, 2013 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 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.
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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 (
“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.” 3 likes
“Rumpus Bumpus,” 0 likes
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