25 Days – Book 19: Mary Poppins

Today is a glorious day. A day I’ve been waiting for for about two years, ever since I read that a new Mary Poppins movie was in the works and set to come this Christmas. Mary Poppins Returns is out today. I have not seen it yet, and won’t for at least a week as the timing with school and the holiday must be right. But I am equally excited that a beautiful Mary Poppins picture book came out this year as well. Our Christmas is going to be filled with Mary Poppins’ delights as I’m giving you a sneak peek at my youngest’s book gift. And my oldest is going to receive a beautiful, newly illustrated edition of the original Mary Poppins text. But that’s another post for another time. Join me now in reveling over this lovely, magical glimpse at the literary wonder: Mary Poppins story by P.L. Travers, adapted by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Genevieve Godbout, 2018.

Before I launch into my review, you should know a few, personal things. Mary Poppins is beloved around our home. The original Mary Poppins was the first feature-length movie for both of my girls, at different times. It is the reigning favorite for comforting sick days. My oldest has written many letters to Mary Poppins, until the day she finally realized that her beloved Ms. Julie on Netflix was none other than her magical movie character. We have seen Mary Poppins on the stage and my oldest has a doll, beautifully made by my mother of Mary Poppins. I own all the original Mary Poppins books and am eagerly anticipating the day we begin to read them together. (I also have them on audiobook!) We have coloring books, Golden Books, an original magazine about the month the original movie came out… we’re pretty obsessed over here. So join me in celebrating what seems a bit like a holiday, this day that Mary Poppins officially returns to theaters. I am nervous and also ecstatic. I cannot wait to see it. But on to the book for today’s post…

What is it about?

So this Mary Poppins book is quite different from the original Disney movie. If you’ve ever read the books, you’ll understand this book better. Adapted from P.L. Travers Mary Poppins, this picture book contains all four Banks children, but still focuses on Jane and Michael. Mary Poppins arrives suddenly before bedtime one night, proceeds to wow them all with her ability to ride up banisters, magically unpack her bag, and quickly and delightfully get the children to bed without fuss.

Adventures with Mary Poppins occur immediately. This is a swift look at the magical person and what she brings to their lives. The children have tea with Mr. Wigg (Uncle Albert) on the ceiling, meet Fannie and Annie at a magical bakery, take bedtime adventures to see paper stars get glued in the sky, and watch the zoo’s events after bedtime. And just as quick as she came, the wind changes and Mary Poppins is off. Though she calls “Au revoir!” as she floats away, which the book tenderly reassures readers it means “to meet again.”

Why I picked it?

The main reason I picked this particular picture book is because of the illustrator. I have been following Genevieve Godbout on social media for many years now. I adore her work. She illustrated some new covers for the Mary Poppins books a few years ago with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and I was enamored with them. If I didn’t already have originals of the books and if she had done interior drawings, I would have been so tempted to collect them all. So I was thrilled to see this picture book coming out this year, with a slightly different take on Mary Poppins from Godbout. Her work is so beautifully textural and soft. I always find myself stroking the paper, and feel foolish to realize that you can’t actually feel the beauty.

Keep in mind that the picture book is a very brief introduction to Mary Poppins. This isn’t a long drawn out story from any part of the book. That being said – it is well done, enjoyable, and a lovely addition to our Mary Poppins collection. The magic is alive here.

Who will love this?

Any Mary Poppins fan is going to swoon over this book. Mary is given a gentler touch with Godbout’s illustrations and all the beautiful hues in the color palette are breathtaking. It is also a lovely introduction to the 3-5 year old range on Mary Poppins. I cannot wait to watch my four year old enjoy this!

Bonus Gift Pairings

The best pairing with this book this year is tickets to see the Mary Poppins Returns movie. Ha! I also recommend the newly illustrated full-text book of Mary Poppins by Júlia Sardà which we are gifting my older daughter. You won’t have to look far to find beautiful Mary Poppins products this year.

Happy Mary Poppins Returns day! We’re almost to the end of this gift countdown. See you tomorrow for the next book from this year in my 25 Days of Favorite New Picture Books countdown!

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