Saturday, February 22, 2014

From Belle's Library | Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

I grew up watching Walt Disney's version of Mary Poppins. In fact, it was the first drive-in movie I ever went to. We dressed in our pjs and popped our popcorn and I sat on a Charles Chips can so I could see from the back seat. And I fell in love. My best friend and I would re-enact scenes from it in the back yard for months, singing the bits of songs that we remembered until my mom and dad bought us the LP soundtrack that we would memorize word for word. It was magic, that story.

When I stumbled upon the book, Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers, while browsing Audible lately, I thought I should give it a try. And while I never saw "Saving Mr. Banks" in the theater (due to our inordinately snowy winter) I knew the basic story of P.L. Travers and her infamously touchy relationship with Mr. Disney. I was curious as to the original Mary Poppins stories and how they captured Walt Disney's heart enough to put up with so much grief from their author. And without a doubt, these stories did NOT disappoint.

I instantly recognized Mary Poppins from the movie. She was not terribly different in the the books. I thought she might have been sweetened up a bit from the reviews I read on line, but not at all to my way of thinking. And her magic was just as captivating as it was when I was 8-years-old! That, and the fact that there are other stories, not told in the movie version makes this even more fascinating for me. In fact, I may try this as a family read-aloud in a few more years, when Little Chef and Minnie are able to stay tuned in for more than 10 minutes. I think it would be ideal for a Disney road trip!

If you are at all captivated by Disney's version of Mary Poppins, I highly recommend this book. And what's more, there are several other books in this series, so if it catches fire in your household, there are many more stories to discover! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

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