Top critical review
Be wary of Harpercollins 'Complete' collection, which omits most illustrations
on 5 August 2016
1. 'Mary Poppins - the Complete Collection' from Harpercollins Childs omits most of the delightful illustrations by Mary Shepard! Those few illustrations which are included are reproduced as tiny postage-stamp-size chapter-opening vignettes, apparently in imitation of the lucrative Harry Potter books; Shepard's pieces are meant to be seen as full-page illustrations, so at this tiny size they look more like smudges.
2. Though this edition is billed as 'The Complete Collection,' it omits 'Mary Poppins from A to Z' and 'Mary Poppins in the Kitchen.'
3. The physical book and layout are ugly and ungainly. The entire book is double-spaced, making it very hard to read. This edition seems as though it was designed by someone who likes looking at books, but not actually reading them.
4. The production is ghastly - I've barely touched the book, and already the back cover is peeling off, showing blank white cardboard beneath.
5. This edition includes an introduction by Cameron Mackintosh which is only 2 pages long, followed by a biography of Mackintosh that takes up an entire page! It just feels like the final straw making this whole mess extremely unfriendly to readers.
Save your pennies for the individual volumes, or the 'Mary Poppins: 80th Anniversary Collection' omnibus, which is well-designed, easy to read and includes all of Mary Shepard's wonderful illustrations at full-size!