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{February 17, 2014}   {Review} Mary Poppins by P.L Travers (Mary Poppins #1)

Mary PoppinsFrom Goodreads: 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!

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This is going to sound bad, but I really prefer the 1964 movie to the book on this one.  I think that had I read this novel as a child, it would have impressed me very much, but as an adult with a small imagination, I didn’t feel much love for this title. I originally decided to read it after watching Saving Mr. Banks—a phenomenal movie—and while I liked the book, Mary Poppins,  well enough, I’m sorry to say it didn’t impress me all that much.

Mary Poppins is not a nice person.  She’s vain, extremely vain, and very matter of fact.  While a little of this comes out in the 1964 movie, I never felt like it was a big deal.  The book, however, constantly brings the text back to Mary Poppins looking in the mirror, admiring herself, and ignoring the children.  While her intentions are good, I just didn’t find her likable in the least.

Since I hadn’t seen the movie in decades, I went ahead and rented it right after reading the book. It was interesting to see what scenes they cut from the book, and I was actually thankful they cut them because I, personally found them to be a little bit boring.  For instance, in the book, there’s a scene where the babies talk to one another and discuss how vapid their family is because they don’t hear the animals and the wind speak.  It plays on an interesting concept—that we lose our ability to hear the truths of the world as we get older, but the twins were just extremely obnoxious in this scene, as was Mary Poppins.  I think, in all honesty, that I lack imagination in the fanciful way that this book requires. Two stars.

2 stars

I was given this book as a gift.

Amazon–Book

Amazon–Movie

Amazon–Saving Mr. Banks (highly recommend)

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