Synopses & Reviews
'The New York Review Children\'s Collection began in 2003 in an attempt to reward readers who have long wished for the return of their favorite titles and to introduce those books to a new generation of readers. The line publishes picture books for preschoolers through to chapter books and novels for older children. Praised for their elegant design and sturdy bindings, these books set a new standard for the definition of a \"classic.\"
Among the 40 titles included in this collection you will find Wee Gillis, a Caldecott Honor Book by the creators of The Story of Ferdinand; Esther Averill\'s time-honored Jenny and the Cat Club series; The House of Arden by E. Nesbit, one of J.K. Rowling\'s favorite writers; several titles by the award-winning team of Ingri and Edgar Parin d\'Aulaire, including their Book of Norse Myths and Book of Animals; James Thurber\'s The Thirteen Clocks and The Wonderful O, both with illustrations by Marc Simont. Not to be missed is the classic animal adventure story Bel Ria by Sheila Burnford, the author of The Incredible Journey; Lucretia Hale\'s hilarious The Peterkin Papers; James Cloyd Bowman\'s Newbery Honor Book, Pecos Bill; and holiday favorites by John Masefield, The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights.'
"This is the funniest childrens book ever written. I've been laughing at it for fifty years, and when I read it again this morning, I laughed just as much as I ever did. There's no point in trying to explain why it's funny. If there's anyone so bereft of humour that they can read these words and look at these pictures without laughing, then heaven help them, because they're beyond the reach of advice, instruction or despair." Philip Pullman, from the Introduction
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.
But the Magic Pudding is also alive. It walks and it talks and it's got a personality like no other. A meaner, sulkier, snider, snarlinger Pudding you've never met.
So Bunyip Bluegum (the koala bear) finds out when he joins Barnacle Bill (the sailor) and Sam Sawnoff (the penguin bold) as members of the Noble Society of Pudding Owners, whose "members are required to wander along the roads, indulgin' in conversation, song and story, and eatin' at regular intervals from the Pudding." Wild and woolly, funny and outrageously fun, The Magic Pudding stands somewhere between Alice in Wonderland and The Stinky Cheese Man as one of the craziest books ever written for young readers.
Bunyip Bluegum, an adventurous Australian koala bear, meets up with a sailor, a penguin, and their magic pudding, which is in constant danger of being stolen.
About the Author
Norman Lindsay (18791970) wrote The Magic Pudding to settle an argument with a friend who claimed that children liked to read about fairies. Lindsay argued instead that they liked to read about food. The author of several novels, Lindsay was also a caricaturist, sculptor, painter, and pen-and-ink artist renowned in Australia and beyond.