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Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers

Mary Poppins (original 1934; edition 1964)

by P. L. Travers

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Title:Mary Poppins
Authors:P. L. Travers
Info:London : Collins, 1964 (reprinted 1965). hardcover
Collections:Your library

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Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers (1934)

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English (73)  German (2)  French (2)  All languages (77)
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
Like most children of my age, I grew up with Mary Poppins the movie. Recent interest (and intrigue) regarding the animosity between P.L. Travers and Walt Disney - most recently turned into a lurid movie starring Tom Hanks - spurred several dissections of book vs movie. My curiosity piqued, I added it to my wish list last night - and was pleasantly surprised by serendipity when on a display at a new bookstore, I spotted this gem sitting upright by the door.

My brother was driving, so I managed to read the entire book before we even made it home.

Despite what the drama between Travers and Disney would lead you to believe, the book did not strike me as too much different from the movie. There are more whimsical adventures - including two absolutely charming ones of a trip to the zoo at night and a star come down to do her Christmas shopping - and Mary is portrayed as slightly more vain, slightly more stern than kind, but overall, I felt it was fairly faithful. One chapter in particular, a relation of the (missing from the movie) twin babies, was bittersweet. The exchanges between Mary and the starling do more for her character than chapters of exposition ever could.

All in all, Mary Poppins is a delightful mystery - the nanny who enchants whether through book or screen, and - as always - practically perfect in every way. ( )
  kittyjay | Apr 23, 2015 |
Enchanting. Mary Poppins is vain, stern, and odd - I do not like her. But she enables the children to have so much magic and joy, and since Travers writes with such grace, the book is very entertaining. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
This book tells the story of Jane and Michael Banks and their twin brother and sister while under the care of the magical nanny, Mary Poppins.
Mary Poppins takes the children on all sorts of magical adventures involving chalk paintings and laughing gas and gingerbread stars. They all seem so real to the children, but at the same time, everything seems just as strange and magical as Mary Poppins herself.
An obvious connection is to the movie that Disney produced that I grew up watching. I didn’t know that the movie was actually based on a book, or rather a set of books, until recently. While reading this book, I also was able to watch Saving Mr. Banks, also produced by Disney, which gave the original Mary Poppins, even more life.
If you liked the movie, or even if you didn’t like the movie, this book would be a great choice!
Be prepared for an exciting adventure with unexpected twists and turns after opening this book!
Note: Formal Review, See saved document) ( )
  apoffenroth13 | Apr 14, 2015 |
"Something strange and wonderful had happened at Number Seventeen, Cherry Tree Lane."

Mary Poppins arrives at No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane, the house of the Banks', from out of nowhere just as their old Nanny disappears with even less announcement. This is the first book in a series of six about Mary Poppins, and in this instance she concerns herself with the Banks' children, Jane and Michael, and the twins Barbara and John.

What follows after her arrival include days out that turn in to wonderful trips from fairytales and magical happenings that are only remembered in a dream-like trance.

Most of us will know Mary Poppins from the musical film, and that is where I first met the magical Nanny. I didn't even realise Mary Poppins had first been a novel until Victoria Coren Mitchell presented a programme about it before the Disney film Saving Mr Banks came out. I was never entranced by the film, however, but was content enough to hum the songs whenever the occasion arose.

Knowing it was first a book filled me with intrigued, as did the fact that P.L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins, did not like the film much. I found that quite brave and wanted to see why and I have to say that I fully understand why. The only part of the film that I can truly say is as beautiful as the book is the casting, acting and portrayal of Mary by Julie Andrews.

I feel it wrong to continuously compare the book to the film, since they are two different mediums completely, so here they shall part company. Travers manages to write a children's book that does not talk down to children at all, and those are the best kind. The words used are not simplified in to nonsense, nor are they prim and proper like any mother would wish their child to use. It is plain and simple and easy to read, but not so easy upon your imagination. Mary Poppins not only takes Jane and Michael on adventures but has adventures on her own, something which I found to be exceedingly charming especially considering her rather snobbish nature.

I considered giving Mary Poppins 4 stars, but found that I didn't want to, mostly because I haven't read the entire series and feel that I need to rate it as a whole, but also because it wasn't as magical as I was expecting it to be. It was quaint and charming, and I certainly enjoyed every minute of it, but I was not captivated quite as I'd like. Perhaps with more knowledge of this woman whom just blew in off the wind, but who knows?

( )
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
I didn't read Mary Poppins as a child, so when I finally bought the series for my niece, I had to give them a quick read. I was surprised at how snide, selfish, and unlikable Mary is. I only knew the Disneytized version.

It was an interesting read. A bit gloomy at times, but for kid's literature, it was okay. ( )
  quillmenow | Apr 6, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
P. L. Traversprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Poussard, ElnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shepard, MaryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thompson, SophieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To My Mother
First words
If you want to find Cherry Tree Lane all you have to do is ask the policeman at the cross-roads.
But Jane and Michael were not taken in by that snap. For they could see in Mary Poppins's eyes something that, if she were anybody else but Mary Poppins, might have been described as tears.... (p. 194)
Don't you know that everybody's got a Fairyland of their own?
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
The wind brings four English children a new nanny who slides up the bannister and introduces them to some delightful people and experiences.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0152058109, Hardcover)

From the moment Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed. This classic series tells the story of the world's most beloved nanny, who brings enchantment and excitement with her everywhere she goes. Featuring the charming original cover art by Mary Shepard, these new editions are sure to delight readers of all ages.

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!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:43 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

An extraordinary English nanny blows in on the East Wind with her parrot-headed umbrella and magic carpetbag and introduces her charges, Jane and Michael, to some delightful people and experiences.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 16 descriptions

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