Author: P.L. Travers
Genre: Children's Classic
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Series: Mary Poppins #1
A blast of wind, a house-rattling bang, and Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry Tree Lane. Quicker than she can close her umbrella, she takes charge of the Banks children - Jane, Michael, and the twins - and changes their lives forever.
Unlike other nannies, Mary Poppins makes the most ordinary events extraordinary. She aslo slides up banisters, pulls all manner of wonders out of her empty carpet bag, and banishes fear or sadness with a no-nonsense "Spit-spot". Who else can lead the children on one magical adventure after another and still gently tuck them in at the end of the day? No one other than the beloved Mary Poppins.
I've always LOVED the movies but never ventured into the books until know. I actually really wish I had read this as a kid, but the magic was definitely still there and I really enjoyed it.
The book sees Mary Poppins, a nanny, arrive at the Banks house at Number Seventeen Cherry Tree Lane to look after the children. From the moment she arrives Jane and Michael realise she's no ordinary nanny, mainly because she is sliding up the banister and is pulling heaps of things out of her empty carpet bag. She takes the children on a number of bizarre but amazing adventures that sees them at the zoo at night, Christmas shopping with a star and talking with their neighbours' dog.
I really enjoyed this story and seeing the original Mary Poppins story. The writing was really imaginative and Travers' writing style was just really interesting and fun to read.
However, I did find that the story was a tad disconnected. Each new chapter sees a new adventure and there was very little connecting them together. At times it felt like a series of short stories with the theme of Mary Poppins and the Banks children. Near the end it seemed to get a little better in this sense, but overall it didn't seem to flow as nicely as I had hoped.
I also found Mary Poppins to be a cold character most of the time, and this may be to do with the fact that Julie Andrews is so warm and loveable in the movie. I felt like she was distant and very strict with the children and had trouble understanding why they'd miss her so much at the end when she didn't seem very close with them. But again, this may be because I love to movie so much.
Overall, I think this is a great children's book and I am keen to read the rest of the series and see how the story continues. I recommend this to anyone who loved the movie and to parents with young children - this book is a classic that won't grow old.