Review Blog

Mar 04 2019

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

cover image

Ill. by Lauren Child. HarperCollins, 2018. ISBN: 9780008289362.
First published in 1934, Mary Poppins was the greatest success of Australian born Pamela Lyndon Travers. It gained a new lease of life when Disney produced a musical movie adaptation in 1964 starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke and introducing the world to songs like A Spoonful of Sugar, Chim Chiminee and of course, Supercalifragilisiticexpialidocious. Now, with the release of  Mary Poppins Returns, the stories of this magical nanny are being discovered by a new generation and so the publication of a reimagined, abridged edition of the original, beautifully illustrated by Lauren Child, is the perfect way to build a bridge between the movie and its original premise.
When seemingly staid and upright Miss Poppins arrives to be the new nanny for the Banks children - Jane, Michael, and the twins, John and Barbara - it seems that nothing much will change from previous nannies. Good behaviour is encouraged, misbehaviour punished and order and routine are important. But within her stern exterior are some magical powers such as being able to slide up banisters, float in the air, step into pictures, stick stars on the sky, and talk to animals. Mary takes the Banks children on a series of magical adventures, such as using a magical compass to travel around the world, and suddenly the children find themselves forming a relationship with her that they don't have with their busy, neglectful, upmarket parents.
Lauren Child has created an edition of this classic tale that is perfect for this time and generation and which should have pride of place in any collection featuring classics which are being introduced to a new generation. It is excellent as an independent read-aloud but would also be great as a bedtime read-along, introducing younger readers to the concept of novels with chapters that continue the story with the same characters.
Barbara Braxton

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Costa Children's Book Award 2019 shortlist
Best books US 2019
Booker Prize 2019
Nobel Prize in Literature 2018, 2019
Prime Minister's Literary Awards 2019
Laugh Out Loud Awards shortlist
Children's Laureate's charter

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Free Rights of the Reader Poster