Saturday, January 20, 2007

Mary Poppins

First we saw the movie.

Then we saw the broadway show.

Now we are reading the book.

It's a great way to compare and contrast the differences in how a story is told. They are all very different. The movie is the frame of reference for most of us. Julie Andrews is Mary Poppins and Dick Van Dyke is Bert. Who has gone through life without singing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? All thanks to the movie.

The broadway musical is fantastic. I've seen many shows on Broadway, and I can't say that I enjoyed any more than I enjoyed this one. The one drawback is it that is in the giant theater that Disney has purchased (and until this show featured Lion King, which has moved to a different theater). The story is classic, the dancing is amazing, and the music truly puts a smile on your face. If you get to London or to New York City and have the opportunity to see this, whether you are eight or thirty-eight, I recommend it highly. I would predict that it will go on tour to other US cities in the next couple of years as well.

One great thing about this book is that it works well as a read-aloud. P.L. Travers is a fantastic storyteller. The idea that Mary Poppins, complete with umbrella and some type of mysterious magical powers, came to straighten out the Banks children is the same in all three portrayals of the story. Other than that, the book is quite different, so it's a new experience for everyone. Because it was written so long ago, there is a bit of advanced vocabulary, that would be unfamiliar to a six or seven year old, but other than that, I think that this is the type of book that could be read to younger children all the way up to older readers.

Check out other book recommendations for kids and adults and my 2007 reading list at my astore.

This review is linked to Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books.

14 comments:

Sherry said...

I love the book version of Mary Poppins. Did you know that there are several sequels?

Jennifer said...

I did, and was wondering if they are as good as the first one.

Lazy cow said...

My daughter loves the books, as I did when I was a child. We have no problem with the movie version (which incorporates some of the stories from the other books) being so different from the first book. I like the acerbic Mary from the books and the sweet Julie Andrews version. How I would love to see as stage adaptation. You're very fortunate.

Laura said...

You've reviewed a favorite of mine since I was very young. I also enjoyed several of the sequels. My children aren't as fond of the books as I am, unfortunately.

Jen Robinson said...

I've been meaning to go back and re-read the original book - I have it sitting on my shelf - but I haven't thought of it in a while. Thanks for the reminder, and for the recommendation of the show!

Dianne said...

I honestly never knew this existed in book form! Like you, this movie is about Julie ANdrews and Dick Van Dyke. I'll watch Dick Van Dyke in anything!

Carrie said...

I used to own a copy of the original book but it got lost somewhere along the way (before I ever read it) and I had forgotten about it. I love the story though (movie version) and being a Broadway Musical "buff" (of sorts -- living on the other side of the country means we have to take in the traveling Broadway shows) -- I'm extremely jealous that you've seen the production! =D Hopefully it'll travel through sometime and I will definitely make a point to see it!!! (Lion King came through last year and we saw that. Wow!)

Laurel Wreath said...

I love Mary Poppins!!

Erin said...

Oh, I want to see the Broadway show! Lucky you. :)

Kelly said...

I am not sure I ever realized there was a book orginally-will definitely have to check it out. So hoping to see the play someday!

Elisa said...

How cool that we're doing the same thing. My sis-in-law bought us all tickets to see the show in March and my mom-in-law has been reading out loud to the girls every week. Glad to hear the show was great!

angeleyes Blue said...

My children, avid readers are usually disappointed when a book is made into a movie or a play. I always remind them that there is something called artists/directers discretion.

Although, I have to admit--I love the Harry Potter Movies better than the books.

Pammy Jean

Susanne said...

I love the movie and it was a favorite of mine as a child. But I have yet to read the book.

Chris said...

I love this story. Thanks for sharing this. Now I want to read this with my two daughters. They are 15 and 11, but they still like me to read to them.