Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

The movie Saving Mr. Banks sparked my interest in Mary Poppins. Despite the fact that the book and the movie is very famous, I haven't read or watch much or either. Of course, I can sing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, and Chim Chim Cheree, but that's about it.

So I was curious to find out, why is Mary Poppins so loved by children?

And as an experiment, I decided to read this with my little brother, to see if the magic still holds.

And well, I know why I like Mary Poppins. She's so different from the characters in most books. She's not the kind, grandmotherly sort that excuses wrongs and saves kids, neither is she the evil godmother type. Instead, she's Mary Poppins. She's magical, known to all sorts of fantastic creatures, and has the most interesting relatives. She's also vain, strict, and very insistent that she's a proper lady. She's a proper conundrum, and I can see why kids are fascinated by her.

The book itself is a series of short stories, without any overarching plot. That means that while it's easy to just read one-a-day, there's not much motivation to finish the whole book at one go. To finish the whole story, yes, but not the whole book.

When I was reading a story to my brother, he'd be paying attention, but when the story was over, his attention would wander of. Quite different from when I read Roald Dahl to him, and he never stops asking for more.

I wish I'd read Mary Poppins when I was a kid. I have no doubt that my imagination would have been all the more richer for it. But, she's still in print, and it's not too late for me to hunt down the rest of her books and read them.

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