The books center on the magical English nanny Mary Poppins, who is blown by the East wind to Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane, London, and into the Banks' household to care for their children. Encounters with pavement-painters and shopkeepers, and various adventures ensue, until Mary Poppins abruptly leaves, i.e., "pops out". Only the first three of the eight books feature Mary Poppins arriving and leaving.
In Mary Poppins Comes Back, published 1935, nothing has been right since Mary Poppins left Number Seventeen Cherry Tree Lane. One day, when Mrs. Banks sends the children out to the park, Michael flies his kite up into the clouds. Everyone is surprised, when Michael reels his kite in, Mary Poppins is at the end of the string. She takes charge of the children once again (though she'll only stay "'till the chain of her locket breaks"). This time, Jane and Michael meet the fearsome Miss Andrew, experience an upside-down tea party, and visit a circus in the sky.
In the chapter "The New One" a girl, Annabel, is born into the Banks family, and concludes the family of now five children; three daughters and two sons. As in Mary Poppins, Mary leaves at the end (via an enchanted merry-go-round, throwing her locket towards the children as she disappears), but this time with a "return ticket, just in case" she needs to return.
About the Author
P. L. Travers (1899-1996) was a drama critic, travel essayist, reviewer, lecturer, and the creator of Mary Poppins. Ms. Travers wrote several other books for adults and children, but it is for the character of Mary Poppins that she is best remembered.
MARY SHEPARD (1910-2000) was the daughter of Ernest Shepard, illustrator of the Winnie the Pooh books and The Wind in the Willows. She illustrated P. L. Travers's Mary Poppins books for more than fifty years.
Read an Excerpt
It was one of those mornings when everything looks very neat and bright and shiny, as though the world had been tidied up overnight.
In Cherry-Tree Lane the houses blinked as their blinds went up, and the thin shadows of the cherry-trees fell in dark stripes across the sunlight. But there was no sound anywhere, except for the tingling of the Ice Cream Man’s bell as he wheeled his cart up and down.
“stop me and buy one”
said the placard in front of the cart. And presently a Sweep came round the corner of the Lane and held up his black sweepy hand.
The Ice Cream Man went tingling up to him.
“Penny one,” said the Sweep. And he stood leaning on his bundle of brushes as he licked out the Ice Cream with the tip of his tongue. When it was all gone he gently wrapped the cone in his handkerchief and put it in his pocket.
“Don’t you eat cones?” said the Ice Cream Man, very surprised.
“No. I collect them!” said the Sweep. And he picked up his brushes and went in through Admiral Boom’s front gate because there was no Tradesman’s Entrance.
The Ice Cream Man wheeled his cart up the Lane again and tingled, and the stripes of shadow and sunlight fell on him as he went.
“Never knew it so quiet before!” he murmured, gazing from right to left, and looking out for customers.
At that very moment a loud voice sounded from Number Seventeen. The Ice Cream Man cycled hurriedly up to the gate, hoping for an order.
“I won’t stand it! I simply will not stand any more!” shouted Mr. Banks, striding angrily from the front door to the foot of the stairs and back again.
“What is it?” said Mrs. Banks anxiously, hurrying out of the dining-room. “And what is that you are kicking up and down the hall?”
Mr. Banks lunged out with his foot and something black flew half-way up the stairs.
“My hat!” he said between his teeth. “My Best Bowler Hat!”
He ran up the stairs and kicked it down again. It spun for a moment on the tiles and fell at Mrs. Banks’ feet.
“Is anything wrong with it?” said Mrs. Banks, nervously. But to herself she wondered whether there was not something wrong with Mr. Banks.
“Look and see!” he roared at her.
Trembling, Mrs. Banks stooped and picked up the hat. It was covered with large, shiny, sticky patches and she noticed it had a peculiar smell.
She sniffed at the brim.
“It smells like boot-polish,” she said.
“It is boot-polish,” retorted Mr. Banks. “Robertson Ay has brushed my hat with the boot-brush—in fact, he has polished it.”
Mrs. Banks’ mouth fell with horror.
“I don’t know what’s come over this house,” Mr. Banks went on. “Nothing ever goes right—hasn’t for ages! Shaving water too hot, breakfast coffee too cold. And now—this!”
He snatched his hat from Mrs. Banks and caught up his bag.
“I am going!” he said. “And I don’t know that I shall ever come back. I shall probably take a long sea-voyage.”
Then he clapped the hat on his head, banged the front door behind him and went through the gate so quickly that he knocked over the Ice Cream Man, who had been listening to the conversation with interest.
“It’s your own fault!” he said crossly. “You’d no right to be there!” And he went striding off towards the City, his polished hat shining like a jewel in the sun.
The Ice Cream Man got up carefully and, finding there were no bones broken, he sat down on the kerb, and made it up to himself by eating a large Ice Cream. . . .
“Oh, dear!” said Mrs. Banks as she heard the gate slam. “It is quite true. Nothing does go right nowadays. First one thing and then another. Ever since Mary Poppins left without a Word of Warning everything has gone wrong.”
She sat down at the foot of the stairs and took out her handkerchief and cried into it.
And as she cried, she thought of all that had happened since that day when Mary Poppins had so suddenly and so strangely disappeared.
“Here one night and gone the next—most upsetting!” said Mrs. Banks gulping.
Nurse Green had arrived soon after and had left at the end of a week because Michael had spat at her. She was followed by Nurse Brown who went out for a walk one day and never came back. And it was not until later that they discovered that all the silver spoons had gone with her.
And after Nurse Brown came Miss Quigley, the Governess, who had to be asked to leave because she played scales for three hours every morning before breakfast and Mr. Banks did not care for music.
“And then,” sobbed Mrs. Banks to her handkerchief, “there was Jane’s attack of measles, and the bath-room geyser bursting and the Cherry-Trees ruined by frost and——”
“If you please, m’m——!” Mrs. Banks looked up to find Mrs. Brill, the cook, at her side.
“The kitchen flue’s on fire!” said Mrs. Brill gloomily.
“Oh, dear. What next?” cried Mrs. Banks. “You must tell Robertson Ay to put it out. Where is he?”
“Asleep, m’m, in the broom-cupboard. And when that boy’s asleep, nothing’ll wake him—not if it’s an Earthquake, or a regiment of Tom-toms,” said Mrs. Brill, as she followed Mrs. Banks down the kitchen stairs.
Between them they managed to put out the fire but that was not the end of Mrs. Banks’ troubles.
She had no sooner finished luncheon than a crash, followed by a loud thud, was heard from upstairs.
“What is it now?” Mrs. Banks rushed out to see what had happened.
“Oh, my leg, my leg!” cried Ellen, the housemaid.
She sat on the stairs, surrounded by broken china, groaning loudly.
“What is the matter with it?” said Mrs. Banks sharply.
“Broken!” said Ellen dismally, leaning against the banisters.
“Nonsense, Ellen! You’ve sprained your ankle, that’s all!”
bidi-font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'" But Ellen only groaned again.
“My leg is broken! What will I do?” she wailed, over and over again.
At that moment the shrill cries of the Twins sounded from the nursery. They were fighting for the possession of a blue celluloid duck. Their screams rose thinly above the voices of Jane and Michael, who were painting pictures on the wall and arguing as to whether a green horse should have a purple or a red tail. And through this uproar there sounded, like the steady beat of a drum, the groans of Ellen the housemaid. “My leg is broken! What shall I do?”
“This,” said Mrs. Banks, rushing upstairs, “is the Last Straw!”
She helped Ellen to bed and put a cold water bandage round her ankle. Then she went up to the Nursery.
Jane and Michael rushed at her.
“It should have a red tail, shouldn’t it?” demanded Michael.
“Oh, Mother! Don’t let him be so stupid. No horse has a red tail, has it?”
“Well, what horse has a purple tail? Tell me that!” he screamed.
“My duck!” shrieked John, snatching the duck from Barbara.
“Mine, mine, mine!” cried Barbara, snatching it back again.
“Children! Children!” Mrs. Banks was wringing her hands in despair. “Be quiet or I shall Go Mad!”
There was silence for a moment as they stared at her with interest. Would she really? They wondered. And what would she be like if she did?
“Now,” said Mrs. Banks. “I will not have this behaviour. Poor Ellen has hurt her ankle, so there is nobody to look after you. You must all go into the Park and play there till Tea-time. Jane and Michael, you must look after the little ones. John, let Barbara have the duck now and you can have it when you go to bed. Michael, you may take your new kite. Now, get your hats, all of you!”
“But I want to finish my horse——” began Michael crossly.
“Why must we go to the Park?” complained Jane. “There’s nothing to do there!”
“Because,” said Mrs. Banks, “I must have peace. And if you will go quietly and be good children there will be cocoanut cakes for tea.”
And before they had time to break out again, she had put on their hats and was hurrying them down the stairs.
“Look both ways!” she called as they went through the gate, Jane pushing the Twins in the perambulator and Michael carrying his kite.
They looked to the right. There was nothing coming.
They looked to the left. Nobody there but the Ice Cream Man who was jingling his bell at the end of the Lane.
Jane hurried across.
Copyright 1935 by P. L. Travers
Copyright renewed 1963 by P. L. Travers
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Requests for permission tomake copies of any part of the work should be mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.
Table of Contents
Miss Andrew’s Lark
The New One
Robertson Ay’s Story
The Evening Out
Balloons and Balloons
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I've loved the Mary Poppins books since I first encountered them, around age 7. They are all wonderful, and the first three ("Mary Poppins," "Mary Poppins Comes Back," and "Mary Poppins Opens the Door") are among my favorite books of all time. I read them aloud to my children, who also loved them. And I tried to protect my children from the Disney movie, which was my first experience of having a beloved book changed unrecognizably by its film adaptation. I'll never forget my shock and dismay... But anyway, these are all books that are a joy to read, and, since each chapter is essentially a story in itself, ideal for a bedtime read-aloud. Highly recommended.
Having been introduced to Mary Poppins in her original form long after I saw the Disney movie, I was shocked to find that not only was it a book first, but that there were many books! I picked this one up on one of my shopping trips and immediately set to devouring it.I didn't find this one as engaging as the first one was. I don't think it's the one that was written directly after the first, but I got no impression from reading it that they were to appear in any real chronological order. All the same, something was lost when I started reading this one. It was as if Mary Poppins had lost a little of her magic and gained instead more waspishness. It was not as pleasant to read as the first was. As such, I am hesitant to pursue further books in the series of Mary Poppins episodes.
This is the second book in the fantastical Mary Poppins series by P. L. Travers. In this book, Mary comes back to the children on a kite. Of course Mary pretends that she knows nothing about this adventure, but later Jane and Michael see the kite tassels in her pocket!Other adventures ensue with all four children as the twins Barbara and John are older in this edition. Soon there is a new Banks child named Annabel. Annabel has a couple of conversations with the Starling that likes to watch the children in the nursery, but she too forgets things just like John and Barbara did in the earlier Mary Poppins book.One of the best chapters in my opinion is the "Balloons And Balloons" chapter. It's absolutely magical as everyone picks their perfect balloon with their name on it and floats through the sky. (I wish I could do that!) There are other adorable events in the book: Jane has a Bad Wednesday as opposed to Michael's Bad Tuesday (which is in the previous book), the children attend a circus of the stars where Mary gets kissed by the Sun, and they also get to visit Mary's cousin, Mr. Turvy, who just can't seem to control himself every second Monday of the month. Poor Mr. "Topsy" Turvy!I actually liked this book better than the first book in the Mary Poppins series. It could be because I wasn't used to the sarcastic manner of Miss Mary when I read the first book. However, I now absolutely adore the way P. L. Travers wrote the character of Mary Poppins. Mary always pretends everyone is crazy or rude when they tell the truth about the magical happenings that occur when she is around, and I just smile and laugh because it's so funny/cute. :) Of course Miss Mary "never tells anyone anything!" I HIGHLY recommend the Mary Poppins series!!!!
ok,are some of these comments exxagerated
This is a nice book i <3 mary poppins she is rude in a funny happy way this book realy toched me
Anyone who loves Mary Poppins should definitely read this book. Mary Poppins continues her adventures with the Banks' family and new characters (usually related to Mary Poppins in some fashion) appear. A cute book for young or old alike. The artwork is worth a mention, too. Very well done. The book is short but worth it.
Best book EVER!
Ugh! When Jane and Michel gave mary popins there money from there farther she just sad: Hmph! And stuff them in her pocket! I just sometimes wish i could chock her! And when she made mrs. Lark leave, she blamed it on the childern. Sob. Oh! She makes me want to cry!