The Magic Pudding
This is a classic Australian comic children's story written in 1918 about the adventures of a koala, Bunyip Bluegum, and his companions, the penguin Sam Sawnoff, the old sailor Bill Barnacle and the Magic Pudding known as Albert. The story is funny, charming and interspersed with many comic poems and song lyrics and original drawings by the author. There is a good deal of comedic violence, though no one gets seriously hurt. Although the story is set in Australia and there is some old Australian slang and the animals are Australian, that should not prove an obstacle to readers from elsewhere.
Bunyip has decided to leave home because of his annoyance with his Uncle's whiskers and travel the country. He comes upon the Pudding Owners and their pudding early in his travels and is invited to join them after helping fight off the Pudding Thieves. The pudding enjoys being eaten and always magically reforms back into a whole after every meal no matter how much is eaten. The pudding can also take on all sorts of different flavours, both savoury and sweet. He was created by a ship's cook when the Cook, Barnacle Bill and Sam Sawnoff were all shipwrecked on an iceberg.
The Pudding Owners and their pudding are in a constant struggle to thwart the attempts of two Pudding Thieves, a possum and a wombat, to seize the pudding. Bunyip helps them fight off the thieves and is invited to become a Pudding Owner and join them in their wanderings. The adventurers meet a selection of odd animal characters with the occasional human as they travel through the Australian countryside. They have a series of adventures either fighting the Thieves or trying to recover the Pudding after it has been stolen.
Reviewed by Adam Quinan, May, 2011
This article is ©2011 by Adam Quinan, and posted on All Things
Ransome with permission.
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