Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mary Poppins

I've always been a reader. I really was one of those kids who would read under the blankets, with a flashlight, and my Mom tells me how she would pretend not to notice because she couldn't handle stopping me from reading.  I grew up reading the "classics" - Pocahontas, Bambi, Robin Hood, Little House, Mary Poppins and the Wizard of Oz. We moved to Toronto when I was in grade 6, and just up the street from us was an amazing kids book store. I was admittedly a bit lonely and intimidated and Mom knew I needed a distraction, so, off to the bookstore we went. This sounds a little cliched, but I didn't know where to start. The woman there asked me I had read Mary Poppins. With the scorn only an 12 year old can give I her of course I did. She then asked me if I had read the entire series. I have no clue it was a series, and over the next few weeks I picked up the entire series.

The Mary Poppins series wasn't life changing, but it is a series that stuck with me, right up there with the OZ, Little House and The Immortals - all of which I read at about the same time. I loved Mary Poppins because it made magic real. My favourite of the series is Mary Poppins Opens the Door - the book that first taught me that cats can look upon kings. The thing is, as a review this one is going to be slightly lackluster because the thing is, I can't help but to wax slightly poetic about this series.  The book series is not the film version - I can't emphasize that enough. There are obvious similarities but in the books Mary is vain and crabby and a bit of a mystic. There's no way to say it other than bizarre things happen when she is around but the real thing that comes out in the series is that Mary has a heart of gold and depths that the movie can in no way come near touching.

Having read the series as a pre-teen, and then again as an adult what rings true is that the whole series is about the magic of childhood.  It's just plain fun to read - as Mary herself says “Don't you know that everybody's got a Fairyland of their own?”

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