Mary Poppins
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins #1)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  54,337 ratings  ·  1,501 reviews

By P.L. Travers, the author featured in the upcoming movie Saving Mr. Banks.

From the moment Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed.
It all starts when Mary Poppins is blown by the east wind onto the doorstep of the Banks house. She becomes a most unusual nanny to Jane, Michael, and the twins. Who else

...more
Kindle Edition, 209 pages
Published (first published 1934)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Love Notes by Renee Lee FisherRock Notes by Renee Lee FisherMusic Notes by Renee Lee FisherRedemption by Alyson RaynesRunaway by Aubrey Kendall
2014 Must Reads
260th out of 1,248 books — 1,448 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Manny
For the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament, Pride and Prejudice (1) versus Mary Poppins (32)

NARRATOR: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an impecunious father with four unmarried daughters is in urgent need of a magic nanny. And so it came to pass that Miss Mary Poppins took up residence in the Bennet household...

Scene 1

[Breakfast at the Bennets. The four sisters are laughing, talking loudly, reaching after toast etc]

MARY POPPINS: Lydia, don't slouch! Slouching is generally regar...more
Stephanie
Oct 12, 2007 Stephanie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: enjoy being mean to children
OK, here's the thing: P.L. Travers's Mary Poppins is not Walt Disney's Mary Poppins. Weirdly, I love both versions equally, although Travers's portrayal of adult-child relationships is more accurate, I think. In the book, the kids clearly inhabit a fantasy world of which their parents are completely oblivious. Mary Poppins, an acid-tongued nanny, serves as a conduit to these fantasy worlds, which are often quite dangerous. Under Mary's protection, the Banks children explore some dark, glorious w...more
Lp
OK, I know it's not unusual for Disney to eviscerate classics, but I was really surprised when I finally read this book to my children how little it resembled the Disney movie (which I liked!).

I adore this book. Mary is vain and crabby and a bit of a mystic, and bizarre things happen when she is around. But it's really about the ephemeral magic of childhood. I laughed out loud and wept openly when I read this to my kids. It is a wonderful book. I wish I'd read it earlier.
Wendy Darling
If you've never read Mary Poppins, you're missing out on one of the great classics of children's literature. It's been a long time since I've read these books that I loved so much as a child, but I immediately felt as though I was visiting with old friends.

The thing of it is, I'm quite sure that I felt this way the very first time I read the book as well. P.L. Travers writes incredibly imaginative stories that tickle the fancy and will surprise even the most jaded reader. Many of the elements a...more
Paul
Winnie the Pooh is wandering around outside the beautiful church of St Martin-in-the-Fields disconsolately. He appears slightly lost. Just a few yards away, perched on the low wall which surrounds Trafalgar Square, a smartly dressed woman is singing sweetly :

Feed the bear, tuppence a bag
Tuppence... tuppence... tuppence a bag


Two small children wander up to her.

"Please Miss, we want to feed the bear"

She smiles at the little girl. "Very well, she says. She takes their tuppence and gives them a sma...more
Kathryn
I've wanted to read "Mary Poppins" for years now. My mom read me many classic children's novels when I was a kid, and then I discovered some on my own in later years, but this is one that somehow slipped through the cracks. Not that Mary Poppins hasn't been an important figure in my life, thanks to the magic of the movie. I just always pictured her as a smiling, rosy-cheeked, singing, magical lady who looks like Julie Andrews! I was somewhat prepared for the differences between the book and movi...more
Natalie
The saving grace of this book, for me, was that it was the basis of a wonderful musical by Disney. I didn't enjoy the book at all. I was surprised at that because, the majority of the time, the books are better than the movies.

The Mary Poppins in the book is vain, obnoxious, dishonest, and cross all the time. There wasn't any sweetness or enchantment in the character at all. In part of the story, the children are taken to a gingerbread shop where Mary Poppins is friends with the owner. The owner...more
Rachel
Like many others, I wanted to read Mary Poppins prior to watching Saving Mr. Banks so that I could see what PL Travers arguments would be about Walt Disney changing her work. I have to say that I am glad that Disney changed it! In the story, Mary Poppins was not a likeable character to me. I just wanted to get through the story to see if she would change any from the vain and frankly, mean, woman that she started out to be. She did not. Usually, I like books better than the movie adaptations, in...more
notgettingenough
Celebrity Deathmatch review in which Mary Poppins is pitted against Pride and Prejudice.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" is the best word and deserves YOUR vote just for its existence.

Think of what Mary Poppins gave you in your childhood. Well, it's payback time. And, let's face it. If Jane Austen had been able to read Mary Poppins in her childhood, think how much more fun her books would have been.

I rest my case.




K.D. Absolutely
Dec 15, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Children's)
Shelves: 501, childrens
Jane and Michael's Ten Life Enriching Lessons for Grownups:

I normally read children's books during Christmastime. Not only to catch up with my Reading Challenge (I am behind by 8 books as of this writing), but also, most of children's books have life lessons that can be good reminders for the coming year. New Year always means new beginning, new hope... As to why I am listing the ten lessons instead of my usual reviews, let me give you the reason. Do you remember when you were still in school an...more
Carissa
I found myself quite torn as to whether I liked Mary Poppins or not. After all, I was raised, like most children, on the Disney film where Mary Poppins is a delightful creature who sings “A Spoonful of Sugar” and gives Jane and Michael the best possible care. So it was hard to reconcile my Mary Poppins with P. L. Travers’ Mary Poppins because the two are quite different.

First of all, the format of the book was a little odd, like reading Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh. It’s done rather in single chapt...more
booklady
Reread this after seeing Saving Mr. Banks.

Grew up with a hardback edition of the first four books, the first being my favorite. Reread again when my daughters were young. In my younger years, I recall being in awe of the person of Mary Poppins. I wanted to be like Jane Banks and have my very own Mary Poppins: someone who was caring, full of surprises and filled daily life with wondrous adventures.

Although there was magic involved in the stories, the fantasies didn't seem improbable to me as a ch...more
Lori
I wanted to read one of the Mary Poppins books after seeing the movie "Saving Mr. Banks" I think I read one of the books when I was a kid. but that has been a very long time! this was a fun nostalgic read.P.L. Travers has quite an imagination. I have seen the movie Mary Poppins many times. it was interesting to see what showed up in the movie and what was different.
In the book there are actually four Banks children. Jane, Michael and twin babies named John and Barbara. Bert is mentioned and he...more
Nikki
I never read Mary Poppins when I was little, but of course I've seen the Disney film. I don't know how anyone manages to avoid it. Something about it was a little too saccharine sweet, for me; the Mary Poppins of the book is a bit sharper, and thus more robust. I do enjoy the way she arrives and then leaves according to the direction of the wind. She's unpredictable, and a mystery. Although, as someone who had nannies as a child (sorry, 'childminders' -- I don't think Martin, Gayle, Gemma and Ja...more
Ivonne Rovira
Feb 08, 2014 Ivonne Rovira rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ivonne by: the movie Saving Mr. Banks
With the release of the film Saving Mr. Banks about the battle between Walt Disney and P.L. Travers over how best to translate the book Mary Poppins onto the screen, I thought I wanted to read the original, which I understood to be darker and sterner than the 1964 film.

The literary Mary Poppins proves funnier and less cloying than the one realized by Julie Andrews. While speaking more sternly and having mastered the gimlet eye so prized by schoolteachers throughout the ages, Mary Poppins doesn’t...more
Tricia


WHO HAS NEVER HEARD OF MARY POPPINS? You know, the handsome nice lady... Oppss. Sorry Mary Poppins, I am truly sorry. So here we go, the thing is Mary Poppins is the cranky nurse by the Banks children from Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane. She arrived with a bang that shook and changed the lives of the Banks children namely Jane, Michael, John and Barbara. It's funny because Mary Poppins is such a very nice and kind lady but she never showed it. She is so cranky and irritable all the time that...more
Nathan Dowell
I struggled with whether to give this 2 or 3 stars. It is undoubtedly one of the most overrated children's books of all time but that being said, a few of the characters and scenes are surprisingly memorable and admirable. Mary Poppins herself however was, to borrow a line from Richard Dawkins from a totally different, wrongheaded and wretched context, "one of the most unpleasant characters in all of fiction." She is snobbish, selfish, conceited, self-righteous and in addition to all this consis...more
The Library Lady
If all you've seen of Mary Poppins is the Disney movie, you don't know Mary Poppins!

The real Mary Poppins doesn't sing about "a spoonful of sugar". Nosiree, she advances on Jane and Michael with the spoon and an ominous look and they meekly obey.

Mary Poppins doesn't give away her secrets. Immediately after each fantastic adventure, she denies that she has taken the children to any such place or done any such thing. (Though there is always SOMETHING to let the children know it really did happen!)...more
Emily
The Mary Poppins books were one of the staples of my childhood, and as such I can't judge them objectively. As a child I wasn't bothered by the randomness of the magical goings-on, and the lack of an over-arching explanation for them, and I completely understood the attraction of Mary Poppins despite her continual administration of snubs to the children. Now that I think of it, she reminds me a bit of my oldest sister, who I adored (and am still quite fond of!). Although she always kept me firml...more
Charity (CJ)
This was a weird one. I don't think my kids or I really got it. The kids seemed to like it okay up until Michael and Jane went to the zoo. It was around that point that I asked them how they were liking the audiobook.

"It's kind of weird," my eight-year-old said. "I can't really figure out what's going on."

I pretty much agreed with her. Throughout the book, I just couldn't figure out why these kids liked Mary Poppins. She wasn't particularly nice to them. It seemed weird that they loved her even...more
Jessica
This in NO WAY is the same Mary Poppins as you see in the movie! Oh, good golly! Mary is mean, and ugly, and quite possibly not human. Some freaky stuff happens, like babies being put in cages at the zoo and taunted by the temporarily freed animals! Crazy.

2013 reread: I think I even liked this better the second time around. I "got" Mary more, though I still have NO CLUE where she's supposed to be from and what she's supposed to be. Is she a star? And I have to say, after having recently rewatche...more
Ayu Palar
I understand why so many children and even adults fall in love with Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins is a cranky nurse, yet she has a golden heart and brings wonder to every kid in the world. What makes Mary cute is the fact that she doesn’t want to show off her kindness. All chapters in Mary Poppins are simply fun, and reading them gives me this innocent amazement. Seeing what Mary does, I was in awe like Jane and Michael Banks are. One chapter that I found very moving is the chapter about the twins...more
Lauren Henderson
This review is also posted on Great Minds Read Alike.

I started with Mary Poppins as part of a Classics Challenge that I set for myself. My goal is to read one classic per month... or perhaps every other month if I'm reading an especially long one.

Mary Poppins is a really fun children's book. I grew up loving the movie and decided to read the book after I recently watched Mary Poppins again. After reading, I was very impressed with Disney's ability to capture Mary Poppins' character - her loftin...more
Jennifer Johnson
If you ask me, (and let's just pretend you did okay?), P.L. Travers is the Original J.K. Rowling. Mary Poppins is full of wild fantasy that would delight children and make their imaginations go crazy. While the story is clearly geared for younger children than Rowling's audience, they still have the ability to suck you into a world full of imagination and magic.

I love Mary Poppins even more now because she isn't a super mega cheery nanny... she's strict, she's tough and she's terribly vain. Yet,...more
Bridget
So I decided this weekend to read every book in my "501 Must-Read Books" book. I'd read 22 books (that I could remember) before starting and this was the first book from the list that I hadn't read prior to making the decision...and what a WEIRD book!

I can only give it two stars because I spent the vast majority of the book thinking/saying to myself - STRANGE. This book is just strange. Mary Poppins is the most unlikeable character and yet Jane and Michael adore her. It is somewhat unclear WHY...more
Linda
Having read Mary Poppins as a kid, and watched the movie version as a teen, I was recently inspired to read the classic again after seeing Saving Mr. Banks. For those who haven't read this book, a caution before opening it: the literary Mary Poppins is nothing like her movie persona. Well, she does have the carpet bag and the famous umbrella with the parrot head (you can buy one of your own for a mere $40 from the Disney Stores), and she can do magical things. But, or perhaps I should say BUT, M...more
Cait D
I feel terrible right now. I mean THIS IS THE MARY POPPINS BOOK THAT IS SO FAMOUS ALL OVER THE UNIVERSE. And I'm rating it 2-stars?! What is wrong with me?! So right now, I'm mortally embarrassed and a little ashamed, but if I'm going to review books honestly, I have to go in this direction.

Let's have some positives first, though, shall we?

I love how magical the story is! The adventures Mary Poppins takes the children on? They're incredible! Only a few were in the movie, so most of them wer...more
Joe Hunt
A ton of fun.

So, I've seen the movie like a hundred times.

(Three year old getting into it.)

I feel like it's the perfect movie--tightly written, funny...

So I had to read the book.

They're definitely a little different--

but every now and then, stuff word for word.

"Not another word, or I'll have to call a police-man."


Book a little more disjointed. A chapter here, doing this--then doing that.

Not a satisfying arc, like the movie.


It's interesting, how austere the Mary Poppins is.

In movie, we get that s...more
Rachel Terry
The children in Mary Poppins are wonderful. Jane and Michael are so sincere and genuine, and the little twins John and Barbara are fun. I love the chapter where the babies are talking to the sunshine and the wind, and they are warned that pretty soon they'll get their teeth and won't be able to talk to the sunshine anymore.

But Mary Poppins--you can keep her. Some people are just not cut out for the childcare industry. I simply couldn't understand why Michael was so upset when the west wind chang...more
Claire Caterer
Why am I so wild about Mary that I award her the coveted five out of five stars? It may be childhood sentimentality, I admit. My mother used to read Mary Poppins as well as Mary Poppins Comes Back aloud to us in the car on long vacations. Nothing could hold me as mesmerized. I so wanted a nanny who could serve tea on the ceiling or rescue me from the nasty characters inside a Royal Doulton bowl. I was devastated every time Mary left, even knowing she would come back. I loved her because she wasn...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Bedknob And Broomstick
  • The Children of Noisy Village
  • Bambi
  • The Story of Doctor Dolittle (Doctor Dolittle, #1)
  • Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates
  • The Rescuers (The Rescuers, #1)
  • The Phoenix and the Carpet (Five Children, #2)
  • The World of Winnie-the-Pooh
  • The Hundred and One Dalmatians
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • Betsy in Spite of Herself (Betsy-Tacy, #6)
  • The Little Mermaid
  • The Witch Family
  • Приключения Чиполлино
  • Emil and the Detectives
  • Pinocchio
  • The Saturdays (The Melendy Family, #1)
  • Skating Shoes (Shoes, #7)
6872556
Pamela Lyndon Travers was an Australian novelist, actress and journalist, popularly remembered for her series of children's novels about mystical nanny Mary Poppins.
She was born to bank manager Travers Robert Goff and Margaret Agnes. Her father died when she was seven, and although "epileptic seizure delirium" was given as the cause of death, Travers herself "always believed the underlying cause w...more
More about P.L. Travers...
Mary Poppins Comes Back (Mary Poppins, #2) Mary Poppins Opens the Door (Mary Poppins, #3) Mary Poppins in the Park (Mary Poppins, #4) Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane (Mary Poppins, #5) Mary Poppins and the House Next Door (Mary Poppins, #6)

Share This Book

“Don't you know that everybody's got a Fairyland of their own?” 105 likes
“If you want to find Cherry-Tree Lane all you have to do is ask the Policeman at the cross-roads.” 12 likes
More quotes…