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Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins is a children's book written by P. L. Travers (born Helen Lyndon Goff aka Pamela Lyndon Travers, Pamela L. Travers) and originally published in 1934 with illustrations by Mary Shepard. It became the first in a series of books about the title character, a magical English nanny who in the first book arrives by windstorm to care for the Banks children of Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, London: Jane (the eldest), Michael, and twin babies John and Barbara. Mary Poppins' best friend is Bert, a Cockney who seems to have a number of jobs, including chimney sweep, pavement artist, etc. Some Mary Poppins books may have been influenced by the author's relationship with G. I. Gurdjieff, the Greek Armenian mystic and "teacher of dancing," whom she met in 1938.

The Mary Poppins book series includes the following titles:

  • Mary Poppins, published 1934 (A good copy of the first edition of this book now sells for over 700 US dollars.)
  • Mary Poppins Comes Back, published 1935
  • Mary Poppins Opens the Door, published 1943
  • Mary Poppins in the Park, published 1952
  • Mary Poppins From A to Z, published 1962
  • Mary Poppins in the Kitchen, published 1975
  • Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane, published 1982
  • Mary Poppins and the House Next Door, published 1988

The first book was the main basis for the Walt Disney film Mary Poppins, a musical which mixed live action and animation and was released on August 29, 1964. In the movie, there are only two Banks children, Jane and Michael. Note that the Mary Poppins character as portrayed by Julie Andrews in the Disney film is somewhat less vain and more sympathetic toward the children than the nanny in the original book. Bert was played in the film by Dick Van Dyke, who had an additional role as the stern, elderly patriarch at the bank where Jane and Michael's father was employed.

One source claims that Walt Disney started trying to get the film rights from Travers in 1948 but didn't succeed until 1961.

Songs

  • "Sister Suffragette" - Glynis Johns
  • "The Life I Lead" - David Tomlinson
  • "The Perfect Nanny" - Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber
  • "A Spoonful of Sugar" - Julie Andrews
  • "Jolly Holiday" - Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews
  • "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" - Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke with J. Pat O'Malley
  • "Stay Awake" - Julie Andrews
  • "I Love to Laugh" - Dick Van Dyke, Julie Andrews and Ed Wynn
  • "Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag)" - Julie Andrews (Walt Disney's favourite song from the score)
  • "Fidelity Fiduciary Bank" - Dick Van Dyke and David Tomlinson
  • "Chim-Chim-Cheree" - Dick Van Dyke (won the Academy Award for "Best Original Song")
  • "A Man Has Dreams" - Dick Van Dyke and David Tomlinson
  • "Step in Time" - Dick Van Dyke
  • "Let's Go Fly a Kite" - Glynis Johns and David Tomlinson

Parodies

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