Author: P. L. Travers
Genre: Classics, Childrens
Originally Published: 1934
Format: Kindle (209 pages)
Synopsis: From the moment Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed. It all starts when Mary Poppins is blown by the east wind onto the doorstep of the Banks house. She becomes a most unusual nanny to Jane, Michael, and the twins. Who else but Mary Poppins can slide up banisters, pull an entire armchair out of an empty carpetbag, and make a dose of medicine taste like delicious lime-juice cordial? A day with Mary Poppins is a day of magic and make-believe come to life!
My Rating: ★★★★★
Mary Poppins is the nanny that everybody wishes they had as a child. The chance to visit a zoo where the humans are the attraction, going around the world with a magical compass, people that float with joy, not to mention the fact that Mary herself can travel into the world of paintings – what more could a child ask for? I love the film and have since a very young age so I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the book. I knew it would be fairly different, especially as P L Travers disagreed with so much of Walt Disney’s version of her story, but I still fell in love with Mary Poppins all over again.
The Mary we come to love in the book is different from the Mary we see in the movie, the Julie Andrew’s version who so many of us consider to be our Mary Poppins. However, I could still feel the same stern but loveable Mary in there and I fell in love with her all over again. Just as I imagine Michael and Jane doing, I clung onto every last word of the stories and adventures that Mary Poppins both described and took them on.
As someone who adores the films Mary Poppins and Saving Mr. Banks, I am aware of the friction between Walt Disney and P. L. Travers as she reluctantly agreed to allow him to make her precious Mary into a movie character. I think that what we gained from Disney in the film was incredible and I will forever hold a special place in my heart for it, even those damn animated penguins! However, I think Disney also did Travers the favour of leaving so many special stories from the books untouched. In this way, I view both the film and the book as separate as they are similar, but I love both of them equally.
What did I love most about the book?
The adventures. There were so many new adventures in here for me to fall in love with. My favourite of the adventures was probably the night of Mary Poppins birthday where she celebrated in the zoo and we got to see a ‘reverse-zoo’, one where the humans were kept in cages for the entertianment of the animals. A thought that so many people do not acknowledge. A close second was Jane and Michael’s encounter with the fallen star in the department store. Each chapter held special messages that I loved and understood as an adult, but would equally have been fascinated by as a child.
“Don’t you know that everybody’s got a Fairyland of their own?”
“She paused, as though she were remembering events that happened hundreds of years before that time.”
“Well, au revoir, one and all.”
I completely fell in love all over again with Mary Poppins whilst reading this. It was so different from the book, but I felt priveleged enough from watching the film to feel that I knew the Mary I was reading about. This little book is a wonderful, heart-warming read that people of all ages will enjoy reading. Relive your childhood and believe in the magic of Mary Poppins!