Mary Poppins, Week 3

Welcome to the third and final Online Book Club discussion of Mary Poppins.

How did you enjoy the end of the book? Was it fun to read the book that inspired the famous Disney movie, or did you find it hard to reconcile the two depictions of Mary Poppins? I think if I had read the book version before becoming so familiar with the movie version, I would have had an easier time reading. But I know the movie version so well, so it was hard for me to remember that the book was about Mary Poppins, and not some strange nanny. 

Were you glad to see that the Bird Woman was included in the book? I think she's a nice character. Did you know that "Feed the Birds" was the only song that P.L. Travers really enjoyed in the movie? Read more about that story and listen to an early version of the song on this post on the Disney Avenue blog. 

What did you think of the Mrs. Corry chapter? I thought it was a little scary and a little weird. Mrs. Corry was very different—she broke off her fingers and fed them to the twins, and she was so mean to Fannie and Annie. I was definitely surprised that the money for the gingerbread stuck to her coat, and I was shocked when she and Mary Poppins glued the stars into the sky. What did you think of that whole scene? Why do you think that wasn't included in the Disney film? Why do you think P.L. Travers would include such a character and scene in her book? 

I thought the John and Barbara chapter was really interesting. I liked thinking that the babies could communicate with the bird, but I did feel sad that they lost that ability once they got a little older. I wish I had the ability to talk to babies and understand what they're saying like Mary Poppins does. That would have really come in handy when my sons were little. Did you like this chapter, or did it make you feel a little sad about how quickly time passes? 

The end was very abrupt to me. It made me sad for the children that Mary Poppins just left. I liked that she left presents for them, but I was sad that she didn't put more effort into her goodbye. 

I think, overall, I was most surprised by the lack of character development throughout the book for Bert and Mr. and Mrs. Banks. They weren't really in the book at all. I expected Mr. Banks to have a more prevalent role since he was so important in the movie version, but I don't really remember anything about him from the book. Were you surprised by the lack of supporting characters? What other differences really stood out to you? Were there parts of the book that you enjoyed more than the movie? 

I'm glad I read Mary Poppins to understand the movie's source material. I'm not sure if I am going to read any others in the series, though. Has anyone else read any of the other books? Do you think I would enjoy reading more about Mary Poppins? 

If you want to hear what stars of Saving Mr. Banks think P.L. Travers would have thought of the movie, check out the above clip. 

If you enjoyed the book this month, you might enjoy the books and movies I included in this list. Make sure to let me know if you decide to check out anything on the list. 

I hope you enjoyed reading along with us this month. In January, we're reading Fahrenheit 451. I hope you'll join us next month, and I can't wait to hear what you thought of Mary Poppins in the comments section. 

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