For all her offended sniffs and humphs, Mary Poppins is likely the most exciting nanny England--and the world--has ever seen. Young Jane and Michael Banks have no idea what's in store for them when Mary Poppins blows in on the east wind one autumn evening. Soon, though, the children are having tea on the ceiling, flying around the world in a minute (visiting polar bears and hyacinth macaws on the way), and secretly watching as their unusual nanny pastes gold paper stars to the sky. Mary's stern and haughty exterior belies the delightful nonsense she harbors; her charges, as well as her literary fans, respect and adore her.
Grownups who have forgotten Mary Poppins's true charms will be tickled pink to rediscover this uniquely unsentimental fantasy. Younger readers will walk into Mary's world without batting an eye--of course the animals in the zoo exchange places with people on the night of the full moon. Certainly a falling star landing on a cow's horn will make her dance ceaselessly. Why wouldn't one be able to enter into a chalk picture? The only disappointing aspect of this classic is that it doesn't go on forever! (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter
From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6-P.L. Travers' story of the Banks children and their unconventional nanny (Harcourt, 1934) has long been popular with adults and children. This version is read by English actress Sophie Thompson, who does a wonderful job providing voices for a multitude of characters. Through her characterization, we can actually see the proper Mary, Cockney Bert, innocent Jane and Michael Banks, the exuberant Uncle Albert, and the shrill pigeon lady. Listeners are afforded a glimpse of turn-of-the-century London. Although the story's primary emphasis is on plot and the characterization of the Banks' children's' relationship with their nanny, some thumbnail socio-economic insights are available. Although written over 60 years ago, the message still rings true. Disappointingly, in this version, the Mary Poppins who delighted audiences with her antics and love for her charges has become a rigid disciplinarian who gives affection to these neglected children grudgingly. The aural quality is very good, and the narration is true to the printed word. This solid production would be a strong purchase for libraries seeking to meet requests for various formats of this title, or for those libraries with large audiotape collections.Tricia Finch, North Port Public Library, North Port, FL
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