Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Comes Back, Mary Poppins Opens the Door, Mary Poppins in the Park, etc.
by P. L. Travers
Lovers of magical stories would be shocked not to find a mention of the Mary Poppins
stories here. And yes, there is a great deal of charm and magic in the series of books by P. L. Travers, written from the 1930s onward. Here you may find some of the same magic as in Bedknob and Broomstick
, The Wind in the Willows
, and the children's fantasy books of E. Nesbit
I did enjoy each of the Mary Poppins books that I read (so far, the first three listed above). Each book contains about a year's worth of stories of a chaotic London family, to which a no-nonsense governess named Mary Poppins brings order. Mary is a study in herself: seemingly without humor, imagination, or patience for the excesses of children (no matter what their size), she is as strict and self-absorbed as you please. And yet the Banks children--Jane, Michael, and the infant twins--can't help but notice that magical things are always happening around her. And the harder Mary Poppins denies them, the more earnestly the children believe...until you're wondering, yourself, whether Mary Poppins is really magical, or whether it's all in the imagination of Jane and Michael.
These stories are touched with the same streak of nostalgia and wistfulness as The Wind in the Willows. They create a comfortable world you could curl up in and feel safe. But I found, after reading three of the books, that each book is about the same as any of the others. You may disagree with me; you may find something in all of the Banks' children's marvelous adventures, to keep you hooked all the way through. Personally, as much as I liked each of the books, I found that to read one is to know them all.
Recommended Age: 8+
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