If you love Disney’s Mary Poppins, you owe it to yourself and your kids to read the fabulous original books by P.L. Travers aloud (8 in all!). Written between 1934 and 1989, they make great bedtime books and supply many more curious and interesting details about Mary Poppins that you won’t learn from the movie alone.
Whether you know her from the books by P. L. Travers or from the Disney movie, you’ll agree that Mary Poppins is a mysterious creature.
Nobody knows where she comes from, not even Travers herself. And nobody knows where she goes on her Evening Out, except for her closest friends and relatives, which happen to include Jane and Michael Banks. And us.
Travers allows us to peek into Poppins’ private social life, and it is here that we learn some of the most important things about who and what Mary Poppins is. Travers gives us so many succinct little hints that by the end of the fourth book, we know enough about Mary Poppins to begin trusting our own intuitions about her.
1. Many of Mary’s friends are VERY old. 1 of 11
Mrs. Correy was in her teens before the world was made, and her old friend the Terrapin is "older than all things that are".
2. Her friend Maia is the second-eldest star in the Pleiades constellation. 2 of 11
3. Her friend Nellie-Rubina is Noah’s eldest daughter 3 of 11
and each year the two of them prepare for the arrival of Spring in the park.
4. Mary is the first cousin once removed (on the mother’s side) of a King Cobra. 4 of 11
That's right, Mary Poppins is a highly venomous elapid serpent. Get over it.
5. On her Evening Out, she parties 5 of 11
with the sun and stars, myriad storybook characters, and with deep-sea creatures of every stripe.
6. When her birthday falls on a full moon 6 of 11
all the animals in the zoo come out of their cages and throw Mary a party.
7. Mary engages in detailed conversations with all kinds of creatures 7 of 11
including newly born infant children, who eloquently explain their cosmic origins (pretty convincingly).
8. Mary Poppins denies ever being cross. 8 of 11
"When was I ever cross? . . . I merely speak my mind!"
9. She is on friendly terms with the Greek god Poseidon. 9 of 11
10. Her favorite book is "Everything A Lady Should Know" 10 of 11
(Everything a Lady Should Know was a popular book published in Australia at the turn of the century).
11. Mary’s uncle is the man in the moon. 11 of 11