Mary Poppins by P. L. TraversMary Poppins by P. L. Travers

Mary Poppins

byP. L. TraversIllustratorMary Shepard

Hardcover | May 18, 2006

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By P.L. Travers, the author featured in the major motion picture, Saving Mr. Banks .From the moment Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed.

It all starts when Mary Poppins is blown by the east wind onto the doorstep of the Banks house. She becomes a most unusual nanny to Jane, Michael, and the twins. Who else but Mary Poppins can slide up banisters, pull an entire armchair out of an empty carpetbag, and make a dose of medicine taste like delicious lime-juice cordial? A day with Mary Poppins is a day of magic and make-believe come to life!
P. L. Travers (1899-1996) was a drama critic, travel essayist, reviewer, lecturer, and the creator of Mary Poppins. Ms. Travers wrote several other books for adults and children, but it is for the character of Mary Poppins that she is best remembered. MARY SHEPARD (1910-2000) was the daughter of Ernest Shepard, illustrator o...
Title:Mary PoppinsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 7.63 × 5.13 × 0.97 inPublished:May 18, 2006Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0152058109

ISBN - 13:9780152058104

Appropriate for ages: 10


Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not As Good As I Remembered Last weekend I participated in a read-a-thon in one of my Goodreads groups and I was choosing to read some children's classics that I haven't read before and of course I just had to give Mary Poppins a try. I vaguely remember my dad reading it to me as a kid but most of my memories are of the movie version of the book so I thought it was high time I give the book a try. Sadly, my expectations of the fun, bubbly and witty Mary Poppins were met with disappointment. The book follows Mary Poppins from the moment she arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane to take become a nanny for the four Banks children to the moment she suddenly leaves them in the end of the book. I have to say that I was expecting something altogether different than what I got from reading this children's classic and perhaps it's because as we age the books we read as children lose some of their magic as some of our inherent innocence is taken from us in the aging process. I didn't find the first book in the Mary Poppins series to be an enjoyable read except for the parts where Mary Poppins wasn't in it. I thought that Mary Poppins was a dour brute in a nanny suite. She was rude, unkind and completely self absorbed and thought she was the best at everything. I found that rather than lift the book up and make it a fun and enjoyable read she brought it down. Despite the fact that I couldn't really stand Mary Poppins I did enjoy reading about the other characters in the book and I especially loved the twins as I thought they were little darlings. Of course I also liked the characters that Mary Poppins introduced the children too and they funny, sweet and of course eccentric. Also the writing was very good. Just because I didn't like the main character it doesn't mean the author wasn't talented she was immensely talented in fact and the story flowed wonderfully. Overall, while I did enjoy all but one aspect of the novel I just can't get past my dislike for the literary Mary Poppins and I much prefer the film version to this. However I do plan on adding these to the list of books I keep in case I ever have children because I think this is one that kids will enjoy as long as they haven't seen the movie I think and I still plan on reading the entire series and I just hope I come to like it more as it goes on. I would recommend this to anyone who hasn't read it yet and just because I found it lacking that's not to say that you will. It is one I think everyone should give a chance and prove that just because a book is "old" or written in a by gone era that it should not be forgot and left to collect dust.
Date published: 2013-05-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It's practically perfect in every way Delayed review: I think what I like most about this book is it is neat to see how differently we view things now than, say, when the story was first published in 1934. Of course it's not going to be the same as the Disney movie because there are just some things and subject matters that don't exactly come out well on film and it's unfortunate that Walt Disney insisted on changing so much of Traver's work (as well as adding in nonsensical animation that had little to do with the origi...more Delayed review: I think what I like most about this book is it is neat to see how differently we view things now than, say, when the story was first published in 1934. Of course it's not going to be the same as the Disney movie because there are just some things and subject matters that don't exactly come out well on film and it's unfortunate that Walt Disney insisted on changing so much of Traver's work (as well as adding in nonsensical animation that had little to do with the original story) so that the two mediums are almost completely different. I think that sort of colours people's views of the story itself. Now of course my books are currently packed so I cannot remember which version of the first book I have (I'm certain it's the '34 version). I know it was republished shortly after I was born so that the Bad Tuesday chapter would seem less offensive to people. That kind of makes me sad that an author feels it necessary to change a book almost fifty years after its publication just to suit the needs of the bleeding hearts. I mean, you wouldn't rewrite Mark Twain would you? Ah well. Perhaps some people would. Mary Poppins in fiction form is delightfully wry and vain and upfront and stern and quite possibly everything I would hope to see in a nanny from the Edwardian period. I find the entire story very satirical and wonderful and it will forever remain on my bookshelf as a true classic. Even if it is very dated.
Date published: 2009-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Perfect Read-Aloud What is it about nursery lore that makes it so enjoyable. Mary Poppins is a perfect example of nursery lore in novel form. Each chapter is an encapsulated story, perfect for bedtime or any othe storytime. A good deal more interesting than the movie, this nanny is a walking enigma and a guide for children of all ages.
Date published: 2008-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Story Welcome to the world of Mary Poppins. She is an exciting character with unique ways of doing everyday mundane chores. In her world, you will meet interesting characters that make you wonder more about about them when your finished. She will always make you come back for more stories.
Date published: 2006-07-10

Read from the Book

East ­Wind  If you want to find Cherry­-­Tree Lane all you have to do is ask the Policeman at the cross­-­roads. He will push his helmet slightly to one side, scratch his head thoughtfully, and then he will point his huge white­-­gloved finger and say: ?First to your right, second to your left, sharp right again, and you're there. Good­-­morning."            And sure enough, if you follow his directions exactly, you will be there?right in the middle of Cherry­-­Tree Lane, where the houses run down one side and the Park runs down the other and the cherry­-­trees go dancing right down the ­middle.            If you are looking for Number Seventeen?and it is more than likely that you will be, for this book is all about that particular house?you will very soon find it. To begin with, it is the smallest house in the Lane. And besides that, it is the only one that is rather dilapidated and needs a coat of paint. But Mr. Banks, who owns it, said to Mrs. Banks that she could have either a nice, clean, comfortable house or four children. But not both, for he couldn't afford ­it.            And after Mrs. Banks had given the matter some consideration she came to the conclusion that she would rather have Jane, who was the eldest, and Michael, who came next, and John and Barbara, who were Twins and came last of all. So it was settled, and that was how the Banks family came to live at Number Seventeen, with Mrs. Brill to cook for them, and Ellen to lay the tables, and Robertson Ay to cut the lawn and clean the knives and polish the shoes and, as Mr. Banks always said, ?to waste his time and my ­money."            And, of course, besides these there was Katie Nanna, who doesn't really deserve to come into the book at all because, at the time I am speaking of, she had just left Number ­Seventeen.            ?Without by your leave or a word of warning. And what am I to do?" said Mrs. ­Banks.?Advertise, my dear," said Mr. Banks, putting on his shoes. ?And I wish Robertson Ay would go without a word of warning, for he has again polished one boot and left the other untouched. I shall look very ­lopsided."            ?That," said Mrs. Banks, ?is not of the least importance. You haven't told me what I'm to do about Katie ­Nanna."            ?I don't see how you can do anything about her since she has disappeared," replied Mr. Banks, ?But if it were me?I mean I?well, I should get somebody to put in the Morning Paper the news that Jane and Michael and John and Barbara Banks (to say nothing of their Mother) require the best possible Nannie at the lowest possible wage and at once. Then I should wait and watch for the Nannies to queue up outside the front gate, and I should get very cross with them for holding up the traffic and making it necessary for me to give the policeman a shilling for putting him to so much trouble. Now I must be off. Whew, it's as cold as the North Pole. Which way is the wind ­blowing?"            And as he said that, Mr. Banks popped his head out of the window and looked down the Lane to Admiral Boom's house at the corner. This was the grandest house in the Lane, and the Lane was very proud of it because it was built exactly like a ship. There was a flagstaff in the garden, and on the roof was a gilt weathercock shaped like a ­telescope.            ?Ha!" said Mr. Banks, drawing in his head very quickly. ?Admiral's telescope says East Wind. I thought as much. There is frost in my bones. I shall wear two overcoats." And he kissed his wife absentmindedly on one side of her nose and waved to the children and went away to the ­City.            Now, the City was a place where Mr. Banks went every day?except Sundays, of course, and Bank Holidays?and while he was there he sat on a large chair in front of a large desk and made money. All day long he worked, cutting out pennies and shillings and half­-­crowns and threepenny­-­bits. And he brought them home with him in his little black bag. Sometimes he would give some to Jane and Michael for their money­-­boxes, and when he couldn't spare any he would say, ?The Bank is broken," and they would know he hadn't made much money that ­day.            Well, Mr. Banks went off with his black bag, and Mrs. Banks went into the drawing­-­room and sat there all day long writing letters to the papers and begging them to send some Nannies to her at once as she was waiting; and upstairs in the Nursery, Jane and Michael watched at the window and wondered who would come. They were glad Katie Nanna had gone, for they had never liked her. She was old and fat and smelt of barley­-­water. Anything, they thought, would be better than Katie Nanna?if not much ­better.            When the afternoon began to die away behind the Park, Mrs. Brill and Ellen came to give them their supper and to bath the Twins. And after supper Jane and Michael sat at the window watching for Mr. Banks to come home, and listening to the sound of the East Wind blowing through the naked branches of the cherry­-­trees in the Lane. The trees themselves, turning and bending in the half light, looked as though they had gone mad and were dancing their roots out of the ­ground.            ?There he is!" said Michael, pointing suddenly to a shape that banged heavily against the gate. Jane peered through the gathering ­darkness.            ?That's not Daddy," she said. ?It's somebody ­else."            Then the shape, tossed and bent under the wind, lifted the latch of the gate, and they could see that it belonged to a woman, who was holding her hat on with one hand and carrying a bag in the other. As they watched, Jane and Michael saw a curious thing happen. As soon as the shape was inside the gate the wind seemed to catch her up into the air and fling her at the house. It was as though it had flung her first at the gate, waited for her to open it, and then had lifted and thrown her, bag and all, at the front door. The watching children heard a terrific bang, and as she landed the whole house ­shook.            ?How funny! I've never seen that happen before," said ­Michael.            ?Let's go and see who it is!" said Jane, and taking Michael's arm she drew him away from the window, through the Nursery and out on to the landing. From there they always had a good view of anything that happened in the front ­hall.            Presently they saw their Mother coming out of the drawing­-­room with a visitor following her. Jane and Michael could see that the newcomer had shiny black hair??Rather like a wooden Dutch doll," whispered Jane. And that she was thin, with large feet and hands, and small, rather peering blue ­eyes.            ?You'll find that they are very nice children," Mrs. Banks was ­saying.            Michael's elbow gave a sharp dig at Jane's ­ribs.            ?And that they give no trouble at all," continued Mrs. Banks uncertainly, as if she herself didn't really believe what she was saying. They heard the visitor sniff as though she didn't ­either.            ?Now, about reference?" Mrs. Banks went ­on.            ?Oh, I make it a rule never to give references," said the other firmly. Mrs. Banks ­stared.            ?But I thought it was usual," she said. ?I mean?I understood people always ­did."            ?A very old­-­fashioned idea, to my mind," Jane and Michael heard the stern voice say. ?Very old­-­fashioned. Quite out of date, as you might ­say."            Now, if there was one thing Mrs. Banks did not like, it was to be thought old­-­fashioned. She just couldn't bear it. So she said ­quickly:            ?Very well, then. We won't bother about them. I only asked, of course, in case you?er?required it. The nursery is upstairs?" And she led the way towards the staircase, talking all the time, without stopping once. And because she was doing that Mrs. Banks did not notice what was happening behind her, but Jane and Michael, watching from the top landing, had an excellent view of the extraordinary thing the visitor now ­did.            Certainly she followed Mrs. Banks upstairs, but not in the usual way. With her large bag in her hands she slid gracefully up the banisters, and arrived at the landing at the same time as Mrs. Banks. Such a thing, Jane and Michael knew, had never been done before. Down, of course, for they had often done it themselves. But up?never! They gazed curiously at the strange new ­visitor.Copyright © 1981 by P. L. ­TraversCopyright 1934 by P. L. ­TraversCopyright renewed 1962 by P. L. ­Travers All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the ­publisher. Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887­-­6777.

Table of Contents

East ­Wind
The Day ­Out
Laughing ­Gas
Miss Lark's ­Andrew
The Dancing ­Cow
Bad Tuesday (Revised ­version)
The Bird ­Woman
Mrs. ­Corry
John and Barbara's ­Story
Full ­Moon
Christmas ­Shopping
West ­Wind

Editorial Reviews

When Mary Poppins is about, her young charges can never tell where the real world merges into make-believe. Neither can the reader, and that is one of the hallmarks of good fantasy." - The New York Times "