I love Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks. I suspect I will love them even more when they are in the same movie together.
This is perhaps a strange way to start a post on a blog about books, but I have a point and you can probably guess where I’m headed.
The delightful trailers for Saving Mr. Banks had me wanting to read Mary Poppins.
As soon as I read the opening pages, I realized that I had actually read it before. But that didn’t do anything to diminish my enjoyment at reading it this time.
Evidently I wasn’t the only person that wanted to give Mary Poppins another read. I checked the library for a copy for months and each time I came away empty handed. Finally my librarian friend (rolling her eyes at me no doubt) told me to just request it. I did just that and I kid you not, within a week, the library contacted me and I got my hot little hands on Mary Poppins.
Lesson learned: just request the damn book already!
What struck me about reading Mary Poppins was the same feeling I got when reading Peter Pan, The Secret Garden, A Little Princess and Alice in Wonderland: the book was so familiar.
And yes I know that I’d already read it but it had been a while. The movie had been a part of my childhood long before I’d ever even realized that a book existed. Full disclosure: I dressed up as Mary Poppins in Grade 6.
Mary Poppins is fantastic. She’s the most no-nonsense nanny that ever was but she’s also so damn magical! Under her care, the Banks children (and there are 4 in the book) have tea with Mary’s uncle on the ceiling because laughing gas makes them float, they watch Mary Poppins and friends glue paper stars to the sky, and become acquainted with the fairly sad story of the restless cow, an old friend of Mary Poppins’ mother. There’s also a midnight birthday party at the Zoo where talking animals wander around and inspect humans in cages.
But then of course, the wind changes and Mary Poppins must leave. At least with the books, one can take comfort in knowing that P.L. Travers actually wrote a whole series of stories featuring the best nanny ever.
I suspect that this is another one of those books that I will be reading to my children one day, and I hope that they get the same sense of wonder and magic out of it.