Friday, June 12, 2015

71:120 Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

The classic children's book that the Disney movie was based on.  The Banks family is in need of a new nanny when Mary Poppins seemingly blows in from nowhere.  She does the ordinary things one would expect of a nanny but somehow, extraordinary things always seem to happen around her like the conversations she and the babies have with the bird or when the star comes down to have Jane and Michael help her with her Christmas shopping.

Mary Poppins is one of my all-time favorite movies so I was really excited to read this with my 9ry old son who also loves the movie so of course, it's basically impossible to read the book and not compare it with the movie.  I was expecting similar characters with more depth and maybe more adventures because 99 times out of 100, the book is infinitely better than the movie.  Unfortunately, I feel like this is in the 1% where this isn't true.  Mary Poppins in the book is much more vain and doesn't have the little winks and mannerisms that she does in the movie to take the sting out of her "no-nonsense" attitude leaving her coming off as generally cold and forbidding.  It's frequently stated that the kids aren't going to do something because they don't want to risk her displeasure, even things as simple as asking a question.  I found her unlikable and while the children are inconsolable by the woman in the house that is apparently their mother (the parents are basically non-entities) and wish for her back, other than the adventures they occasionally have with her it's hard to understand why.  My son's opinion was the same and he kept saying she was just mean and he didn't like her at all in the book and he has no interest in the others in the series.  I can't say I blame him.

Page Count: 210p/17,033p ytd/231,967p lifetime

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