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Publisher's Summary

Here is the timeless story of Mary Poppins, the world's favorite nanny, and her magical adventures with the Banks family.

Mary Poppins is like no other nanny the Banks children have ever seen. It all starts when their new nanny is blown by the east wind onto the doorstep of the Banks house, carrying a parrot-headed umbrella and a magic carpetbag. She becomes a most unusual nanny to Jane, Michael, and the twins. Who else but Mary Poppins can slide up banisters, pull an entire armchair out of an empty carpetbag, and make a dose of medicine taste like delicious lime-juice cordial? A day with Mary Poppins is a day of magic and make-believe come to life!

An Audible for Dogs Pick: Make your dog's day. Cesar Millan shares how audiobooks can make dogs happier and calmer. Learn more.
©1981 P.L. Travers (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    648
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    278
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    144
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    36
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    36

Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Why Did I Wait So Long?

Sometimes I wonder at myself. Do I really need further evidence that the movie is never as good as the book? I must have seen the Disney movie at least a dozen times, so I put off listening to this, feeling I had a fairly good idea of the story and characters. I finally scraped the bottom of the barrel of new books in my library, so I started this short listen.

My first thought on listening to this book? I WAS CHEATED! Yes, that's right. Cheated! My mother failed me deeply in never reading this book to me when I was young, and what's worse, I cheated my own daughter. Beautiful, whimsical writing, characters so unique and moving, not introduced in the movie, overall it's just a gorgeous story. The writing, I can't describe it, but it deserves a "Dao of Mary Poppins" adaptation.

Thompson's narration does nothing but add to the experience of this book. Her vocalizations for the different characters are fantastic! I wish so much that I could go back in time and read this to myself as a child. It's a book to make grown ups think and to remember being children, and a book to make children dream.

31 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Magical With An Edge....Book vs Movie

I know this sounds odd but I've found myself thinking about the book Mary Poppins recently. I think it's because I had a negative surprise with a collection of PL Travers short stories that I bought here on audible at Christmas time. I thought the stories might be fun holiday season short listens. They were a disappointment because not only were they not about Christmas they also had a strange flavor, tone and mood.

I was perplexed and wondered if I had misremembered the book Mary Poppins. It's often hard if you read the book and then see the movie of the book to keep them straight. I thought about the possibility that my memories of Mary Poppins were disneyized and not based on Travers' actual writing. As luck would have it Kindle Unlimited with Audible narration had a copy available to borrow. So I listened and wow was I surprised.

Without a doubt the PL Travers Mary Poppins was definitely filled with wonder and magic. To me, it was not at all the sticky sweet magic from the movie but a darker and even a little nervous making kind of scary magic. Mary was surprisingly vain and quick to anger or tease the children. Many stories from the book had been left out of the movie version and teetered so far on the edge that I could see why they had been omitted.

I actually think that children of today might like the book version better than the movie. There are so many book series out there now trying to capture just what PL Travers accomplished in the 1930s. There was a strong feeling of the time captured in the book. So much so that it felt like historic fiction with a fun and wacky edge. However, do be aware that for young children the book might be a bit too much.

I'm glad I rediscovered the real Mary Poppins and think that in this case the book wins over the movie.

32 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Delightful! - Excellent Narration

I was so curious about this book after watching Walt Disney's "Saving Mr. Banks" and of course "Mary Poppins!" The other reviews made me even more curious. First of all, I have to say that the narration by Sophie Thompson is out of this world. She flows from voice to voice so easily and perfectly that you would never realize it was one person.Excellent job -- in fact "practically perfect in every way!" It is true that Mary Poppins is cross and mean at times, but the fun and caring for the children still comes through. I'm not sure I'll go forward with the rest of the series, but this one was delightful. Can't wait to listen with my husband on our next road trip. Oh, and if you are the movie fan, you won't be disappointed as this book does include at least 3 of the familiar stories from the movie. No spoilers though.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • JHBpgh
  • Aspinwall, PA, United States
  • 12-08-15

Screechy with revelations

Was interesting to listen to this version as I had only seen the Disney film & never read the book. Mary is a bit darker here, but still well liked by the children. The narrator has great enunciation, however, she made several of the characters (birds, Annie & Fannie's mother) sound like screechy witches, which I found a bit irritating.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent narration!

Would you listen to Mary Poppins again? Why?

Absolutely! It's a great story, and the narrator is fabulous! She does way more than just read the story - she actually acts it out, which makes for a really interesting listen.

What other book might you compare Mary Poppins to and why?

Little Women. Like Mary Poppins, it has children as main characters and clear morals to each tale.

Which character – as performed by Sophie Thompson – was your favorite?

That's a toughie, but the panda voice was among my favorites.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Timeless and Magical

I haven't read Mary Poppins since I was a child, so I picked up this audiobook for a trip down memory lane. This book should be read and enjoyed completely separate from the movie version with the sparkling-eyed Julie Andrews. It's a series of short stories about the adventures of Mary Poppins and the four Banks children, there's no character development or plot. It would be perfect for bedtime reading.

The book version of Mary Poppins can be vain and cross, and she constantly gaslights those poor children. She shines most in the scenes when she's away from Jane and Michael, when she's meeting with Burt or recounting the adventures of the dancing cow. My favorite chapter is the magical vignette with the twins John and Barbara and the Starling. I really enjoyed the narration, I thought Sophie Thompson's voice was special and just perfect for this audio.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • Bellevue, WA, United States
  • 07-03-14

Timeless story

Quite enjoyable and I understand why this story captivated Walt Disney and countless little children. As with any book-to-movie, there is more in the book...who knew Jane and Michael and twin siblings? Travers' imagination was strong and the story of Mary Poppins, and her impact on the Banks family is still valuable today.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Story, Annoying Narration.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I'd probably recommend the actual book, but not the audio version. It would have been a better story to hear for the very first time with my own head-voice and not someone else.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mary Poppins, of course!

What aspect of Sophie Thompson’s performance would you have changed?

There's something about her voice that just sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me when she does the character voices. Mary Poppins, Jane, Michael...those voices were just fine, but the other voices are just so...gah! There's no words for what her voice turns into. Not squeaky, not fake. Just annoying. Especially the zoo scene when the snakes come in. I was pulling my hair out with her hissing on the 's' words and hisses in itself.

Did Mary Poppins inspire you to do anything?

...thank Disney for their wonderful version? Lol. This book is great, the story line is amazingly imaginative, but Disney just made it more palpable.

Any additional comments?

The Broadway is more closely related to the book than the movie version. If you enjoyed the stage play, you'll love the book. If you can't stand over-acted characters, the narrator will be annoying. It's almost like she tries too hard. It really kind of ruined the experience for me. Forced myself to listen to more than half of the story.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • fred
  • greensboro nc
  • 02-12-14

For a change the movie is better than the book

I got kind of caught up in the Mary Poppins thing after enjoying "Saving Mr. Banks" with my college-age children. So I figured why not see what the book is all about. Now granted I did not spend time reading deeply into the characters, but I found Mary to be mean. Yes, she is providing the kids with lots of fun and exciting experiences, but she is not always nice to them. Not even in a stern, British, Elizabethan manner, just kind of mean. If you are a movie fan then you will enjoy items from the movies (no singing!).

9 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

reading is painfully shrill

made it hard to get through in audio format. lost the interest of my children. plan on reading it aloud to them myself.