"This is the funniest children’s book ever written. I’ve been laughing at it for fifty years, and when I read it again this morning, I laughed as much as I ever did."
— Philip Pullman, from the introduction
"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
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.