by P. L. Travers
Ages 8 – 10, 202 pages
The book is slightly different from the Mary Poppins Disney version, but it’s still enjoyable. The Banks hire a new nanny, Mary Poppins, who suddenly appears with a gust of wind. She makes ordinary events seem extraordinary. Mary Poppins is stern and proper, so you may find her saying ‘spit-spot’. However, even though she has a stern behavior the children still adore her and are curious because she doesn’t tell all her secrets. There’s actually four children in the book: Jane, Michael, John, and Barbara. Jane and Micheal are the main focus, since John and Barbara are twin babies. There is one chapter from the twins’ perspective. The children encounter laughs so hard your feet don’t stay firmly on the ground, strange night events at the zoo, and even a Christmas shopping trip has interesting surprises. There is nothing in the book about the mother’s protest for women’s rights. Bert, the chimney sweeper, is not as prevalent as the movie. Mary Poppins is the first book in a series, so if you enjoy this classic then there’s more pleasure.
When she came back from her Day Out, Jane and Michael came running to meet her.
“Where have you been?” they asked her.
“In Fairyland,” said Mary Poppins.
“Did you see Cinderella?” said Jane.
“Huh, Cinderella? Not me,” said Mary Poppins contemptuously, “Cinderella, indeed!”
“Or Robinson Crusoe?” asked Michael.
“Robinson Crusoe – pooh!” said Mary Poppins rudely.
“Then how could you have been there? It couldn’t have been our Fairyland!”
Mary Poppins gave a superior sniff.
“Don’t you know,” she said pityingly, “that everybody’s got a Fairyland of their own?”
And with another sniff she went upstairs to take off her white gloves and put the umbrella away.
– P. L. Travers (Mary Poppins, page 27-28)