Mary Poppins (P.L. Travers, adp. by Amy Novesky)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Mary Poppins, a picture book based on the original novel by P.L. Travers, adapted by Amy Novesky, and illustrated by Geneviève Godbout.

With a story that follows Travers’s classic 1934 book and visuals that evoke the beloved Disney movie, we are introduced to the Banks children: Jane, Michael, and their twin baby siblings. Their previous nanny has left unexpectedly, but as a shift in the wind gusts down Cherry Tree Lane, it brings with it a strange figure from the skies. From the moment Mary Poppins arrives at their doorstop, she is equal parts prim, proper, and magical. Taking the reader on a whirlwind tour through adventures around London, the children marvel at Mary’s peculiar acquaintances and the uncanny ability they have to inspire childlike wonder. At last, when the wind changes once again, Mary takes off into the sky, bidding the Banks children a fond “Au revoir” – not “goodbye”, but “to meet again”.

Enchanting. Cutting the original down to a few tasty morsels, Novesky adapts the story perfectly for young readers; some favorites like the Bird Woman or Admiral Boom don’t make the cut, but most of the edits – the questionable world tour, the plotlines of the Banks parents, and Mary’s odd habit of gaslighting the children about their adventures – create a lighter tone that fits the picture book format perfectly. And the art is absolutely wonderful, combining a prim and delicate sense of shade, color, and character design with scenes of absolute wonder; the nighttime zoo adventure was a particular favorite during our read. The length isn’t bad – though may work best for more patient bookworms – and we adored it. A lovely adaptation to introduce the world’s most beloved nanny to young readers, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!