|I first read Mary Poppins in 2010 for a Children's Book group on Goodreads. I remember being pretty excited about reading it for the first time. I've always loved watching the movie when I was a child, maybe it's because I enjoy musicals or just that Dick Van Dyke does such a wonderful job of imitating a penguin. But, reading Mary Poppins was a whole different experience. Mary Poppins was much more stern then I expected and at times the children seemed to be scared of her, but also intrigued. The movie will always be my favorite. Here's a link to my original review. |
To prepare for the read a-long with The Midnight Garden, I decided to try out the second book in the series, Mary Comes Back on audiobook read by Sophie Thompson. I really wanted to see if reading the second book would bring the charm that I so much enjoyed about Mary Poppins from the movie to light, without having the reference of a movie to compare it to.
Sometime has passed since Mary Poppins has been at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, and things at the Banks house are in total disarray. "Nothing ever goes right--hasn't for ages! Shaving water to hot and coffee too cold." The children have been through three governesses and now that there is the addition of twins John and Barbara, Mrs. Banks is at her wits end. Trying for some peace, she sends them all out to the park to play. While there, they are pleasantly surprised when Mary Poppins comes back being pulled on the end of Michael's kite string. With no explanation or apologies, she once again takes over the care of the Bank's children.
While reading Mary Poppins Comes Back, I think I've finally realized what it is the children adore about her. Mary brings spontaneity, adventure and excitement to their day, there was a whole chapter where the children were bored and fighting, and Mary takes charge and gives them such fun adventures. She takes them on trips to visit Mr. Turvy and his bride Miss Topsy, tells them stories about a King of the Castle and the Dirty Rascal and even takes them to a circus in the stars. Maybe they respect her firmness and calm that she brings to their family while she is there. I can't say that Mary Poppins became more agreeable or pleasant, in fact she even seemed somewhat more conceded then I'd recalled, she spends a lot of time looking at her image in the mirror then I remembered from the first book. I guess that it intrigues me that she comes off as so stern, while at the same time being magical, dancing in the circus and sharing wonderful adventures with the children. Maybe "A Spoon Full of Sugar" is still dancing in my head and I'm still seeing Julie Andrews too. Oh well, it still makes me want to read one of the next stories though.