Art Friday: Norman Lindsay and The Magic Pudding

The pudding (Alfred) and his friends: Bunyip Bluegrum (the koala), Bill Barnacle (the sailor) and Sam Sawnoff the penguin

Artist: Norman Lindsay
Australian: 1879-1969

Illustrations from The Magic Pudding

Some of you who are familiar with Norman Lindsay may have got a little nervous when you saw that I was including his artwork today. Don't panic, only the works from his book "The Magic Pudding" have be included - why, because everything else Lindsay painted were a little x-rated, lots and lots of naked women (some quite young). However, this set of illustrations are nothing like his paintings - everyone is fully clothed.

The Magic Pudding was written and illustrated by Norman Lindsay in 1918. The story about a pudding - a magic pudding (that can walk and talk) - no matter how much one eats it, it always reforms into a whole pudding again. He is called Albert, has thin arms and legs and is a bad-tempered and ill-mannered.  Like many books, this one has some "badies", the pudding thieves who (of course) steal the pudding.  There is a court scene, a constable and bit of carry-on and a rescue and everyone is happy by the end.  I think most Australian children (older ones like me) have had this read to them when younger and had the pleasure of looking for hours at these illustrations. If you haven't read the book - here is the link to the ebook (I'm not sure if it comes with the illustrations) at Project Gutenberg.  It isn't your standard children's book by any means! 

For those who have read this - what did you think?
An Australian classic?
Would you recommend it? 

The cover of the book. Norman Lindsay wrote 'The Magic Pudding' in 1918 to settle an argument with a friend who claimed that children only liked to read about fairies. Lindsay insisted that they liked to read about food. The author of several novels, Lindsay was also a caricaturist, painter, sculptor and sketch artist, renowned in Australia and beyond.
This would have to be my most favourite drawing in the entire book. Its worth clicking and enlarging as the detail is gorgeous.  That's Benjamin Brandysnap in the garden tending his vegetables.
Bunyip Bluegum and his Uncle Wattleberry
The pudding thieves - a possum and a wombat
Alfred the rather grumpy pudding - no matter how much pudding you eat, it never runs out - a children's dream!!!
Alfred the pudding and his friends by the sculptor Louis Laumen in Melbourne
from the book
All the characters made of sand!
I selected an Australian author and artist today as tomorrow (the 26th of January) is Australia Day. 


  1. Read the book - did not really get too deep into the story, but loved the pictures, still do, great character sketches. I wonder if the faces reflected the people he knew, and if so, if any were offended???

    1. I hadn't thought of that - perhaps they are faces of his "friends"!!!

  2. Oh wow, those are quite interesting. I really do wish I had the time to draw or paint, but I just don't with a little newborn and 6 other little ones right now!

    Hope you are well.

    1. One day you will have free time on your hand for drawing and painting, children don't stay young forever.

      Yes, I am well - thankyou:) Have a lovely weekend:)


  3. It's been far too many years since I read the book for me to really tell you what I think/thought of it... I don't think I would rate it amongst my favourite books as a child though - far from it.
    I just noticed, on looking through these illustrations, that none of the characters look happy or pleasant at all!

    1. My children loved the animation that was made of the book! They were all "characters" with their own personalities, some a little naughtier than others.

  4. I recall enjoying it and I loved the drawings too. I own a copy to this day. Your favorite picture is also mine! And as a to possessing my very own magic steak and kidney pudding--that would be quite something. Mmmmm. Nick.

    1. I cannot think of the Magic Pudding without thinking of you!!

  5. It's been a long time since I read this book - I must read it to my younger ones when I find it (still unpacking from our interstate move).

    I wanted to say I love the Bible verse you have in the right-hand column - it's one of my favourites, and has been very special to me the past few months. Glad I found your blog! God bless,

    1. Thanks Linda for dropping by:))

      That is one of my favourite bible verses and one I remind myself of when things get a little tough. Such a comfort.

  6. As you know, one of my favourite books. Is it a classic? It is THE Australian classic IMHO!


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