Mary Poppins – P.L. Travers

My image of Mary Poppins is one that Disney has almost hard-wired into my brain since watching the film of the same name. It was (and still is) one of my favourites. I never read it is a child for reasons unknown but have now picked it up as an adult.

Why did I never read this as a child? This book creates a completely different world of Mary Poppins. The wind has changed and she has arrived into the Banks’ life to look after not just Jane and Michael but the twins, John and Barbara as well.

Mary Poppins is a much darker version than the screen one, she is strict and sometimes rather grumpy, we have no idea of her age but she is incredibly vain and the children pick up on that, looking in numerous shop windows as they pass.  Mary Poppins seems to wander across into a fantasy world quite easily (she does not question it and neither should we as readers), talking to birds and the wind as do the twins explaining to the readers that all children of that age understand; tea on the ceiling; going into chalk pictures on the street with Bert, Christmas shopping with angels and even to the night at the zoo when it is the humans who are the attractions and in cages and that the centre of it all is of course Mary Poppins.

Mary Poppins is of course no ordinary nanny and P.L. Travers certainly brings that across in this book which is like a collection of short stories, they have no real connection with each other, other than the characters within them. You never know why Mary Poppins chose the Banks’ family and Seventeen Cherry Tree Lane to become her home and work place for a while, it matters not, as you can suspend that realism and be lost in the fantasy world that is created but of course the wind will change and Mary Poppins surely must go to another family……?

This is actually the first book in The Complete Collection which I bought as I had never read them as a child and my mum assures me that we did not have them. I wanted to go and see Saving Mr Banks, but however it was on for only two weeks at the cinema and those two weeks were very busy! I will wait for the DVD and in the meantime enjoy the books…..

…and the film. Reading the first book and all about Travers and the film has not put me off the film at all (It is one of my top three). I watched it all the time as a child and wore out a video copy we had recorded off the TV as well as an actual video bought, thank goodness when we went to DVD!  It kept me and continues to keep me entertained for hours!