Friday, May 2, 2014

The Magic Pudding (Guest Post)

Today it is my pleasure to host a book review by Junior Bibliophile! I enjoyed her article, and I know that all of you will as well. She is discussing Norman Lindsay's Australian book, The Magic Pudding, which offered our family great amusement. So without further ado, I will hand it over to Junior B! :)
Hello, my fellow bibliophiles! I haven't posted around here since September, except for a vlog with Lady B. *gasp* And to make sure every bibliophile does not remember me as a Shameless Blogger Hacker right up there with Spotted and Herbaceous Backsons, I suppose I should come on again for a nice, amusing book review.
A book review, my dear friends, about a pudding.
The Book
The Puddin'-Owners Anthem
"The solemn word is plighted,

The solemn tale is told,

We swear to stand united,
Three Puddin'-owners bold.
"When we with rage assemble,
Let puddin'-snatchers groan;
Let puddin'-burglars tremble,
They'll ne'er our puddin' own.
"Hurrah for puddin'-owning,
Hurrah for Friendship's hand,
The puddin'-thieves are groaning

To see our noble band.
"Hurrah, we'll stick together,
And always bear in mind
To eat our puddin' gallantly,
Whenever we're inclined."
Bunyip Bluegum, the koala bear, lives with his Uncle Wattleberry in a little tree house. Bunyip is a fine, round, splendid fellow, while his uncle has red whiskers and that's all you can see of him. Any polite gifts of razors or boxes of matches to burn the whiskers off will just make Uncle Wattleberry go off on a long rant about how noble whiskers dignify the face. The whiskers are really a big nuisance--especially at dinner time when Bunyip has to sit outside on a branch and share his lunch with the lizards.
So if you can't fix your problems, the best thing to do is to run away.
And Bunyip takes his uncle's walking stick and sets off to see the world. All is going well, as Bunyip is a graceful bear, and loved by everyone he meets, but, alas! One cannot enjoy life if one did not have the foresight to bring any food along.
"No joy it brings

To have indeed

A lot of things

One does not need.
Observe my doleful plight.
For here am I without a crumb
To satisfy a raging tum----
O what an oversight!"
Fortunately for Bunyip and the rest of the story, he meets up with Bill Barnacle, the sailor, and Sam Sawnoff, the penguin, eating Puddin'.  But this is not just an ordinary Puddin'. It's a cut-an'-come again Puddin'. A Christmas steak and apple-dumpling Puddin'. A Puddin' that is soothed when you call him Albert. A Magic Puddin'.
But greedy pudding thieves, in the form of a Wombat and a Possum, are always lurking near and pulling tricks to capture Puddin’. After several rousing escapades they manage to get the law involved, in which case, Puddin’ may be lost forever.
My Thoughts
Magic Pudding Statue in Melbourne--Photo Credit
I loved the illustrations in this book-they really made the story. And since they were by the author himself, he knew exactly what he wanted the characters to look like. It's an Australian book so it has all the Aussie humor in it to make it have a wonderful zip. I enjoyed meeting the different Australian animals that are not so common around here (after all, we do not have kangaroos eating from our gardens! :-O) Also, rousing rounds of “Ho, Aboard the Salt Junk Sarah”  were quite amusing.
The funny thing is, even though this is a book for children, adults might do better with it because of a great deal of situational ethics.

But the author handled them brilliantly.
Not for the situational ethics themselves, but, my fellow bibliophiles, for the simple fact of a kangaroo court.

Definition of a Kangaroo Court
1. a mock court in which the principles of law and justice are disregarded or perverted
Norman Lindsay did a good job of incorporating this idea into his story. When Puddin’ gets arrested, the Puddin’ owners decide to hold their own mock trial complete with witnesses and criminals (naturally the Puddin’ thieves.) I’ll admit, Bill Barnacle does make a pretty good judge. :) And when you read the story with a kangaroo court in mind, you’ll see why the author handled it so well.
My personal favorite character was Bunyip, even though I'd have to say Puddin' ranked up there too. Bunyip always had a speech ready to console his friends and stir them on to avenge themselves on the Puddin' thieves. He also was very smoothed-tongued in a court of law. Ahem. But I'll let you read the book to find out how that turned out.
I enjoyed a lovely couple of days chasing pudding thieves with Bunyip and Co. and Lady B and I thought it was so funny that we read it out-loud together with Mother B and laughed uproariously. If you have just read a Very Long and Boring book or are recovering from a Very Sad and Tragic book, I highly recommend that you get The Magic Pudding. It is a soothing balm for such wounds.  
Ho aboard the Salt Junk Sarah!
Junior B.


  1. Nice Post Junior B. While I have never read the book, it has been fun hearing you and your sister quote things from it at home. You make me smile with some of the quotes :)

    1. Junior BibliophileMay 3, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      Thank-you very much! :D This is a great quotable book and I love pulling out the rhymes. :)


  2. Thank you, Junior Bibliophile! It's always delightful when you "hack in", but it's nice to see you do it legally once in a while, too. : )
    This sounds like a most clever and amusing story. Leave it to the Aussies to come up with something like that.
    I especially liked your ending: "If you have just read a Very Long and Boring book or are recovering from a Very Sad and Tragic book, I highly recommend that you get The Magic Pudding. It is a soothing balm for such wounds."
    Sounds good to me!

    the Philologist

    1. Junior BibliophileMay 3, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      Yes, it's fun hacking in to Schuyler's account to post something! Pretty soon I'll have to use her actual computer to do it...but, I agree, it's always very nice to come on legally! :)
      Lol, yes! The Aussies are very clever in writing things like that.
      This was a fun blog post to write, and I enjoyed doing the ending. You can see the A.A.Milne influence in my life. :) :)

      Thank-you for commenting!

  3. Dear Sister,
    A lovely post! Thank-you so much for sharing with us. :) I have re-read it many times, and smile every time I read it.

    And I was writing this comment just as the Philologist posted; so I shall second hers--I loved your last sentence. :D It was as if you wrote it with some people you knew in mind. :wasntme:

    It was such fun to read this all together! We shall quote it for a long time to come. And someday we shall have to tell the folks about the coconut we named Albert. :P

    Ho aboard the Salt Junk Sarah!

    Lady B.

    1. Junior BibliophileMay 3, 2014 at 11:01 AM

      Thank-you, Sister, for posting this! <3 I'm glad you enjoyed reading it!
      Hmmm...I wonder if I did write that comment with a few people in mind. What an interesting conundrum. :wasntme:
      And that coconut-if I ever see it again, it had better beware! >:-) I think we should really get another coconut and name the poor thing something different...though it would probably end up being Albert II. :P
      Rolling home, rolling home, rolling home across the foam!!!
      Junior B.

  4. Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed THE MAGIC PUDDING, Junior B! It's really a gem!

    By the way, I'm sure we've got a Spotted or Herbaceous Backson around here somewhere. We have Bizy Backsons quite regularly.

  5. Junior BibliophileMay 5, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Thank-you muchly! :D It IS a gem, and I heartily enjoyed making the acquaintance of Bunyip and Co.
    Lol, I saw several Bizy Backsons last week. So now we know what Christopher Robin does in the mornings...
    ~Junior B.


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