Children tuck into "Magic Pudding" tale for 90 years

Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:09am EDT
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By Pauline Askin

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - It's been 90 years since renowned Australian artist and author Norman Lindsay created a recipe for longevity and success with his classic children's tale "The Magic Pudding."

The book, written and published in 1918 and which has not been out of print since, recounts the adventures of Albert the never-depleted pudding, who can change from steak and kidney to apple dumpling or jam in an instant, depending on the desire of whomever wants to eat him.

The book is one of the most popular children's stories in Australia, and features several native animals such as koalas, possums and wombats. It has also been translated into several languages.

Lindsay's grand-daughter, Helen Glad, talked to Reuters on Sunday about her grandfather's timeless classic on the 90th anniversary of its publication.

Q. Your grandfather was a respected Australian artist of great importance so what prompted him to write a children's book?

A. "He wrote the book for a bet after a discussion with an editor from an art magazine. He said he believed that children were much more interested in food than fairies. It's been in print since 1918 and has become part of any Australian childhood. It's just been one of those continuous things from generation to generation."

Q. Have children's reading styles changed much since 1918?

A. "Kids today are so very different to what they were in 1918, so you sort of think is it a dated story, but it obviously isn't. The children at the 90th anniversary of "The Pud" were no different, they really felt that particular magic and were very excited about getting a slice of pudding too."   Continued...