Salon presents an article adapted from Philip Pullman's introduction to a recent reissue of Norman Lindsay's The Magic Pudding.
Lindsay argued that children liked to read about food rather than fairies, and The Magic Pudding was born.
Philip Pullman's been laughing for 50 years already. He's enthralled by every rhyme and drawing.
There's an exuberance, a gusto all through the book that's irresistible. You can feel Lindsay carried away on the wings of his own energy.
If I live to be a hundred, it will still be my favorite children's book. To quote Bill [the sailor], finally: "There's nothing this Puddin' enjoys more than offering slices of himself to strangers." And if you're a hearty eater, sit yourself down with Bunyip and Bill and Sam, and help yourself to a slice. "Hearty eaters," as Sam says, "are always welcome."
I'll take Pullman's word for it. Sounds like a fine addition to Helena's library.