24 Jan 2017


Today I bring you a box set of five books containing six novels.

Today I bring you the full MARY POPPINS series of novels  by P.L. TRAVERS.

Today I bring you, with the original publication dates in brackets ...
  • MARY POPPINS (1934)
AMAZON.CO.UK ABRIDGED PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Mary Poppins Comes Back: On sailed the curious figure, its feet neatly clearing the tops of the trees. They could see the face now, and the well-known features - coal-black hair, bright blue eyes and nose turned upwards like the nose of a Dutch doll. Mary Poppins Opens the Door: Up in the sky a tiny spark hovered and swayed in the darkness. What could it be...? Still they waited. And still the spark grew ever larger and brighter. Then suddenly Jane caught her breath. And Michael gave a gasp. Mary Poppins: The original best-loved classic about the world's most famous nanny - Mary Poppins. When the Banks family advertise for a nanny, Mary Poppins and her talking umbrella appear out of the sky, ready to take the children on extraordinary adventures. Mary Poppins in the Park: Things happen to the Banks children when they go to the park with Mary Poppins. Strange things, funny things, unexpected things: nothing is ever straightforward with Mary Poppins about - and it's never boring either! Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane / Mary Poppins and the House Next Door: Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane Going to the Park for a supper picnic proves to be more than just the expected treat when Mary Poppins is around! The strangest people turn up, and Jane and Michael have a wonderful time.

SOURCE: A 2016 Christmas present purchased from Bookpeople.co.uk. For full details of the offer click here.

  • 2017 Mount TBR challenge (6 books of 24 read)

MY THOUGHTS: Though you'd doubtlessly recognise some of the characters, adventures, sayings and iconic images if you have ever watched the 1964 film starring Julie Andrews, the books (the latter, Mary Poppins In The Park, Mary Poppins In Cherry Tree Lane and Mary Poppins And The House Next Door, of which, chronicling the adventures not yet recounted from the initial three visits, were published after the film), are, as is so often the case, well, quite different though by no means un-recognisably so.

Marketed at those aged 9+ as is clearly indicated on the back cover. The young bookworm that was me having somehow managed to miss the books, I came to them some 29 years after the last one, Mary Poppins And The House Next Door, was originally published.

OK so Mary is vain, stern, priggish, domineering, somewhat quick to anger ... I could go on. The children, brats. And arguably (though revised in 1981 after accusations of racism which apparently saw the stereotyping of several different ethnic groups including the Chinese and Native Americans) still not altogether politically correct by today's standard. P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins is hardly Mary Poppins ala Walt Disney.

And yet ...

Charmingly whimsical and essentially quintessentially British. 

Each novel (bar the last two which at just over 50 pages each are more novellas than full stories) is effectively a series of random adventures contained within a chapter. Some longer than others but on the whole, each chapter/adventure read separately, ideal as a bed-time read. I enjoyed all of the books though as was expected preferred some adventures to others.


Karen said...

Interesting! I've only seen the movie. The books are usually darker and more problematic until they get Disneyfied lol

Karen @For What It's Worth

Barbara Fisher said...

Hi Tracy, I must be honest and say I’ve not read any of these, although like most people, I’ve seen the films.
I’m possibly intrigued enough to pick one or other of them up if I saw them in a charity shop, but I don’t think I will be out looking for them simply because I already have so much I want to read.

Sherry Ellis said...

I've always wanted to read the books, just to compare them to the Disney version of Mary Poppins.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I'd only ever seen the 1964 movie so I love your thoughts on the series.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Love the movie and have been curious about the books. I didn't know it was racist but I can also read it with the time period in mind... even if I'm a bit put off by it. Might be good for me to stick to the movie, however. Cannot beat Burt and Mary in that version. :D

Kelly said...

Surely I've seen the film at some point in my life, but I honestly can't remember having done so. I know I've not read the book and had no idea there were more than just the one!

Natasha Hill said...

I must read this as I just saw Saving Mr Banks last week which was about PL Travers and Walt Disney and I was so drawn into her world, so I must read the books. Lovely review Tracy! - Tasha

Melliane said...

I never saw the books but I would be curious to try

Brian Joseph said...

I had no idea that Mary Poppins was actually a series of novels.

I like the fact that she is such a flawed character :) I am thinking that it would be unlikely that an author could create such a character for children's books these days.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

It looks as though you have one over on all of us with this review, as like everyone else, although I have seen the original film, I had no idea that it was based on one book, let alone an entire series.

I don't worry too much about books which are not politically correct at this point in time. The fact that they were perceived as acceptable when they were first issued is what makes them 'classic' and for me, they really shouldn't need to be updated or changed from the original.

I am going to be in the minority when I also say that I have seen the 'Disneyfied' version of Mary Poppins. I am a complete Disneyholic, so can't see anything wrong with some poetic licence being taken to give wider audience appeal, just so long as the original is still left intact and available to all.

Thanks for sharing :)


Suko said...

Tracy, like many of your readers, I've only seen the movie, although we may have had the books somewhere in the bookshelves when I was growing up. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about these books. I always enjoy reading your reviews.

Anonymous said...

I saw the film with Julie Andrews
which I loved. And Julie Andrews
is one of my favourite actresses
and singers. When I was little,
I had a Disney series book of Mary
Poppins which was based on the film
and very different from the original
books by P.L. Travers. I haven't read
the books by P.L. Travers yet.

Natasha Hill said...

I just wanted to come back across and say a big thank you for all of the kind comments you always leave on my blog! - Tasha

The Bookworm said...

Interesting! I've only seen the film, which is among my favorites. It's crazy looking back on some classics and seeing the blatant stereotyping involved.