"Mary Poppins" by P. L. Travers

I liked this book SO MUCH BETTER than I did when I was a kid!  I read two or three of the original Mary Poppins books by P. L. Travers when I was young, and I just didn't find them very fun.  And I found parts of them downright creepy.  Or bizarre.  Or dark and weird.  I much preferred the Disney movie.

Don't get me wrong -- I still love the Disney movie.  But this book makes me laugh aloud multiple times now!  I used to think Mary Poppins in the book was kind of mean, and she IS much sterner and less cuddly than Mary Poppins in the movie.  But now, as an adult, I just see her as a woman tasked with caring for other people's children who has no use for fools and no time to waste.  She's not mean, she's just busy and tired.  And funny, but not in a way that kids would get.

I also love how you can kind of read the magical parts of this book two ways.  You can take them the way Disney does -- as magical events caused by a magical person.  Or you can take them as adding imagination and wishing to ordinary events.  Do they all really have a tea party floating in the air, or did they just have so much fun laughing and telling jokes and laughing some more that they felt like they were floating?  Did Mary Poppins and her friend Bert really jump through a painting and have a free picnic in Fairyland?  Or did they make up a fun "pretend we're doing that" story together because neither of them had enough spare money to go have tea in a shop?  That absolutely fascinated me, and I LOVED IT.

Particularly Good Bits:

"Don't you know," she said pityingly, "that everybody's got a Fairyland of their own?" (p. 32).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG because that part where Mrs. Corry snaps off her fingers and feeds them to children is really creepy, even if you tell yourself she's pretending to do it and giving them cookies instead.

This is my fiftieth book read and reviewed for my third Classics Club list!!!  I am finished again!!!  Look for a wrap-up post about that soon.


  1. Can't believe I haven't read this one, it's funny how stories change as you age. You relate to different characters.

    1. Skye, it's a super fast, quirky read. And yes, perspectives make a difference!!!

  2. I remember reading this as a kid and also thinking Mary Poppins was mean. Maybe I'd think better of her now...


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