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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mary Poppins Opens the Door by P.L. Travers

Mary Poppins Opens the Door is the third book in the Mary Poppins series; click here to read my reviews of Mary Poppins and Mary Poppins Comes Back.

This is another wonderful addition to the Mary Poppins series!  In fact, I'd venture to say that this one might be one of the better ones.  Mary Poppins is a bit more Disney-esque in this one than she was in the previous two: a little softer and nicer.  I truly enjoyed all the magical stories as well.

The book opens with Mary Poppins' arrival on Guy Fawkes Day, while the Banks children are in the park setting off fireworks in celebration.  I had to remind myself that this book was written in 1943- in the opening chapter Mrs. Banks sends the children to the park in the care of the chimney sweep that she just met that afternoon.  Nowadays parents are reluctant to let their children be in the care of anyone other than close family!  They'd never let their kids go to the park with the neighborhood chimney sweep!  (Nor should they, of course.)  There's another part a little later on in another story where there's a comment made that would today be considered mildly racist.  We'll chalk that up to the 1943 publication date as well.

In between the spectacular arrival of Mary Poppins and her magical departure, the children meet a man with seven wishes to share, the cat who looked at a king, Neleus (a park statue who comes to life to read comics), Miss Calico (who sells magical flying candy canes), mermaids and talking sea creatures, and fairy tale characters come to life.  Mary Poppins continues to play a part in all these adventures, and to deny their happenings after the fact.  But while in the moment, Mary seems much more fun.  When Neleus comes to life, it is heavily hinted that it is by Mary's doing, and she grants him extra time when he and the children beg her for it.  She also lets herself have fun at the undersea party, dancing and chatting with all the sea creatures.

Maybe it was because Mary seemed kinder and gentler in this volume, or maybe it was because I knew and loved the characters even more after spending three books with them, but I was actually sad to see this one end.  Like the first two, this one read almost like a series of vignettes, and could possibly be picked up and read out of the order of the other books in the series.  I would recommend starting with Mary Poppins, though, if you want the most complete enjoyment.


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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