Dearest darling readers,
Welcome to Title Talk, 09.2018. Yay ME! Know why? Because I am reading more now than ever before! Between the two reading challenges I am participating in and our virtual book club, I am juggling 4-5 books at a time. All the more amazing considering I’m a little ADD or ADHD and a very slow reader. Have books on my Nook, books on my Kindle app and books I’m listening to on Audible. And then the print books for my quiet time!
Title Talk, 09.2018
August’s prompt for the Book Girl Magic challenge was ‘a book turned movie.’ I am reading children’s books for this challenge so wanted a book that was going to be released as a movie in the near future. Guess what I picked? Here’s a hint.
I remember delighting in the first “Mary Poppins” movie as a little girl on a special movie ‘date’ with my mom. Ate so much popcorn and drank so much Hi-C fruit punch that I was sick to my stomach afterward. And swore off popcorn and punch for years. For this month’s prompt, I decided to read Mary Poppins. Discovered it isn’t a single book but a series, however, I only read the first title.
These are 2 of the covers for Mary Poppins over time. The one on the left is the original cover. I wish you could see Mary’s face up-close. Looks like she could use a spoonful of sugar, if you ask me. You would wonder how she could have been the basis for Julie Andrew’s version of the character. The cover for the edition I read (ok, listened to on Audible) is on the left.
The book began much like I remembered the movie, which warmed my heart. But toward the middle, the story revolved around some events that I wasn’t familiar with from the movie. Of course, I know that often happens with movie adaptations of books. The tone seemed to change, though. And the Mary Poppins I had fallen in love with through Julie Andrew’s portrayal, was not the Mary Poppins in P.L. Travers’ book. According to Biography.com, Travers disliked the Disney big screen version of her book. So much so, that she left specific stipulations in her will for further film adaptations.
Travers had a very difficult childhood which is reflected to some degree in the tone of her books. The author’s main character is severe and not necessarily the personality you would expect of a nanny. She is a stern disciplinarian of the Banks children (who do not seem all that mischievous, especially by today’s standards!) with a slightly self-important air for her position. By contrast, Disney made Mary Poppins fun and magical. And it was Disney’s version of the main character that was so well received by audiences and critics alike. Nominated for 13 Academy Awards, and winning five, including a Best Actress Oscar for Julie Andrews portrayal of a whimsical, merry Poppins.
You may remember the floating tea party scene and the tuppence-a-bag bird feeding scenes in the 1964 movie. They both appear in the book. But the animated scene of the carousel in the park was all Disney. On opening night, after viewing the movie, Travers instructed Disney to remove the animation but he told her ‘that ship had sailed’. So glad it had.
I can’t really say I would recommend Mary Poppins, the book. Certainly not for younger children and I think middle school and high school students would not be interested. Out of curiosity, I looked up the Accelerated Reader reading level which is 6.1, or sixth grade and it has a Lexile Level of 830L, or mid-fifth grade reading level. The formal British-English language in which it is written makes it less kid-friendly for young readers today. I am looking forward to “Mary Poppins Returns”, due to be released Christmas week. Wish I could take both of my babies and their babies to see it. When Brennyn was teensy she called the movie and the nanny Marian Papas. My sweet doll baby girl!
Do you remember seeing “Mary Poppins” as a child or even as an adult? Did it delight you, too? Will you be adding “Mary Poppins Returns” to your list of movies for the holidays?
PC and I saw “Saving Mr. Banks”, which was a bit more melancholy than the Disney film.
Released in 2013, it is the story of P.L. Travers meetings with Disney about “Mary Poppins”, the movie, and her recollections of a dismal childhood. Not at all a children’s film. Just now, this afternoon, realized there will be a musical version of Mary Poppins performed by the near-by Las Cruces (New Mexico) Community Theater in December. Need to pencil that in as an addendum on my 2018 Fall Bucket List. By Christmas I should be good and Poppins-ed out!
Not long ago, someone compared me to Mary Poppins. I can’t remember who. Maybe one of my daughters but I don’t think so. I took it as a very sweet compliment but wonder now which Mary Poppins they meant!! Ha!
Before I leave you, would like to invite everyone to join our summer-turned-fall virtual book club. We will begin our fifth book together next week, Jodi Piccoult’s A Spark of Light, to be released on 10.02.2018. If you are interested in joining our no-pressure club, just let me know! Thank you for joining me for Title Talk, 09.2018.
Hugs and kisses,