The Magic Pudding: 100th Anniversary Edition

Norman Lindsay

The Magic Pudding: 100th Anniversary Edition
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The Magic Pudding: 100th Anniversary Edition

Norman Lindsay

Believing wholeheartedly that children preferred food to fairies, Norman Lindsay concocted a recipe for success that has lingered for one hundred years. Here are the adventures of Sam Sawnoff, Barnacle Bill andAlbert, the cut-and-come again pudding, who requires ‘politeness and constanteatin’.‘

Now in a slipcase, this beautifully designed edition of a perennial favourite also includes a section, 'From the Publisher’s Archives’ that contains a fascinating collection of correspondence between Norman Lindsay and his publishers, Angus & Robertson. The letters have come from the A & R Archives held in the Mitchell Library and were selected with the assistance of Lindsay’s granddaughter, Helen Glad, who also wrote a short biography of him especially for this book.

In print since 1918, this slipcase edition is the perfect gift and is sure to whet the appetite of all ‘puddin’ fanciers'.

Review

The story of the ill-tempered but delicious self-perpetuating Magic Pudding is an Australian icon a bit like the dog on the tucker box really. But I had never actually read it till now, its centenary year. What a treat!

It is the perfect, hilariously illustrated read-aloud for anyone from 6 to 106. A wonderful mixture of quite sophisticated wit, somehow both rustic and pompous, and sheer slapstick. Full of songs and ballads, the language is rich, of its period, and dramatic. Here is top-hatted Uncle Wattleberry who has been mistaken for one of the puddin’ thieves and set upon by two of our heroes, for instance: ‘Nothing short of felling you to earth with an umbrella could possibly atone for the outrage. You are a danger to the whisker growing public’.

If you have not already made its acquaintance this 100th birthday year could be an excellent time to do so. Reviving the national enjoyment of steak and kidney pudding, boiled jam roll and apple dumpling could also be rather a good idea.


Kathy Kozlowski has worked in children’s books for almost 50 years, and currently offers recommendations at Readings Kids.

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