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Mary Poppins (Essential Modern Classics) Paperback – 11 Mar 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks; New edition edition (3 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007286414
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007286416
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"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"

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Now available as part of the Essential Modern Classics series, featuring the `More than a story' extra content at the back of the book

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Shady Tree VINE VOICE on 20 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback
If you're buying this because you or your children love the film of Mary Poppins, don't expect the same slightly stern but very twinkly-eyed Mary as the one so fantastically portrayed by Julie Andrews. PL Travers' original and best Mary can be quite harsh with a rare show of tenderness limited to a "Hmph" as she tucks you in, but for all that, this is a book not to be missed. There are some valuable lessons for children and adults alike; some laugh-out-loud moments and some real tear-jerkers (see the chapter entitled "John and Barbara's Story". The film-makers took enough similarities from the book that children can recognise the Mary they know and love (sliding up the stairs, the carpet bag, the flavour-changing medicine etc.) but many of the adventures with Mary Poppins in this book are marvellously different. This book is a joy for adults to read aloud to children and despite explaining to my 6 year-old daughter that the stories in this original book of Mary Poppins were quite different to the film, she loves this book and eagerly awaits each night's chapter. A real gem and justifiably a classic - you'll be very sad to reach the end of the book.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
Katie Nana has left the Banks family in need of a new nanny. But before they know it, a woman blows in on the East Wind. Literally. She takes the position of caring for the four children, Jane, Michael, and the twins John and Barbara. But with her extremely prim and proper attitude comes magical adventures. A day in the park, having tea, running errands, and even Christmas shopping can turn into an adventure when Mary's around. And the kids love it.
This most decidedly is not the Disney Mary Poppins. Disney toned her down significantly for his movie, making her heart easier to see. Still, it's there if you look closely in the book. I had forgotten just how hard it is to see at times behind Mary's outward appearance and actions. Still, the kids come to love her because they know where they really stand.
As with all books in the series, this one is a series of adventures. Each chapter tells it's own story, each story it's own fun, magical adventure.
Those looking for Disney's Mary will be greatly disappointed. But anyone looking for a fun series of adventures will find a woman who does care for those around her, even if it's not always super obvious.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
First I have a confession to make, I was in my twenties before I even saw the Disney movie, and I must admit that I loved it. Now many years later I have got round to reading the first book in the Mary Poppins collection, there are another five novels as well as this one.

The Disney film was based on this book and its sequel, but of course there are things not mentioned in the book that were in the film, and vice versa. I won't go into depth of what the story is about, because we all know that Mary appeared as a nanny to look after the Banks' children. Reading this book though you see that like Gaskell's 'Cranford' the story is really made up of a number of sketches, and thus is not a conventional style novel; indeed you could read it as a series of short stories all about Mary Poppins. Mary herself is a bit darker than in the film and she is very vain.

Even at my age this book had me laughing out loud at some of the things said and some of the incidents, so this shows that it is definitely a book for all ages. This is a novel that you can read to little children, and when they are older they can read by themselves, and when they are really older they can still read to themselves, or to their children. Some books are classics for all people and this story aptly falls into that group.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. J. Noyes TOP 100 REVIEWER on 4 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
There can't be a child alive now who actually reads this book in ignorance of the Disney film. And I count myself here too. Anybody reading this will have their reading of it coloured by Julie Andrews and the famous songs and scenes of the film. And this doesn't help the book, in some ways.

I wish I knew how I'd view this story if I'd not seen the film first. I suspect I'd have liked it - it's pretty magical still, with the parrot umbrella, magic medicine and upward banister travel, the ceiling lunch, chalk drawings. But if you're reading this to your child expecting dancing penguins, chimney-top dancing and the moving father-child scenes at the end, think again. Uncle Walt put those in. Sorry.

This is on my son's shelf and I do intend to share it with him when he's old enough. There are some great chapters here that I didn't remember - the midnight zoo and the twins' chapter (Jane and Michael's baby siblings have a chapter of their own which is adorable) are my favourites. I didn't like Mrs Corry at all, a very strange chapter and character that I found disturbing. Bert hardly appears, it's much more a sequence of stories and adventures and around Mary and the children. So it's very different to the film, which apparently (as I can't say I've read any of the others) is based on chapters from several of Travers' volumes.

I would treat them as two different and quite separate things I think. My son is three and a half and wants to see the film (after ad nauseum repeats of the songs in the car) so I know he'll be seeing this before we read it. I know at this age he'll be enchanted by the film whereas the book, which most certainly is a classic of its time will have an appeal when he's older.
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