Probably my very first movie of watching a movie is Mary Poppins. It came on TV, and Mary Poppins is my Mom’s absolute favorite movie. I remember we unfolded our sofa bed, and my brother and I cuddled up with my Mom as we watched Mary Poppins. Fast forward several years and I discovered Mary Poppins was a book. Not just one book, but several books. I read the entire series several times in middle school, so now that my kids are in middle school, of course, it had to be a book and a movie for us. So this is our Marry Poppins movie night!
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The Banks family cannot keep a nanny. The most recent nanny has left and they need a new nanny right away, so Mr. Banks advertises for one, and gets Mary Poppins.
She is not what he expected, and she changes the family overnight as she leads the Banks children on madcap adventures all over London (and beyond in some books).
Some interesting Mary Poppins controversies
In homeschooling circles there’s a lot of talk of the “whitewashing of literature,” modern audiences are offended by aspects of writing that was acceptable at the time of writing, so the books are modified to ensure it doesn’t offend modern audiences.
This “happened” to Mary Poppins.
Each book has a chapter where one of the Banks children gets ahold of something of Mary Poppins that has magical properties. In the original book, it’s a compass. In the original writing of the book, the characters head to very stereotypical characters for each direction of the compass.
They head North and run into a member of the Inuit tribe who acts in every single stereotype you could come up with.
They head East and run into a China man.
They head West and meet a member of a tribe from Brazil (I think).
In the original publication, the illustrations were exactly what you would expect from that.
Then in the 1960s or 1970s they discussed it with the original illustrator and the illustrations were changed to animals from the areas talked about.
THEN in the 1980s, they talked with P.L. Travers and she decided to change the chapter.
Did you read that part?
SHE decided to change the chapter.
This wasn’t a case of someone coming in afterward and changing the author’s intent (like happens with Huck Finn), this is the author deciding to change her work because she wasn’t trying to insult other cultures.
I like to read as close to the author’s original words as I can because it allows me to get a glimpse into a different world and a different time. It adds to my knowledge. I want to read “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and see the horror of the events.
Okay, done with my soapbox.
Mary Poppins Book Club
After we went through the study of Mary Poppins, my friend Dachelle created a Mary Poppins Book Club. It literally came out the month after we read the book, so it was fresh on my mind and I was able to help her edit and put finishing touches on it as a beta tester. My favorite part of the book club was the crumpets recipe, and I routinely use that recipe to this day.
I highly recommend this if you’re looking for a fun addition to reading the book.
Mary Poppin movie night snacks
I did some searching beforehand since I knew Mary Poppins was a beloved Disney movie and a popular birthday party theme. I drew some inspiration from these posts:
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- bird seed- granola
- umbrella- half of a Babybell cheese with a pretzel stick in it
- umbrella- I had a second one that was just the handle using Pirouette cookies…
- Mrs. Corey’s fingers- candy canes (peppermint sticks would be better, but I couldn’t find them in time, and I kinda want to order these now), this only makes sense if you’ve read the book, otherwise, Mrs. Corey is a brief mention at the beginning
- Dancing Cow- much like the Dalmatians from 101 Dalmatians it’s a sugar/chocolate cookie using the cow cookie cutter from the 50 animal cookie cutters
- Birthday party guests- circus animal crackers (again, this makes sense from the book)
- The twins- sour patch kids (characters that didn’t make it from the book)
- Gingerbread slabs- there’s an entire chapter about getting gingerbread with Mrs. Corey (we used the recipe from World of Warcraft cookbook, their recipes are surprisingly good and we made their turkey recipe for Thanksgiving!)
- tea sandwiches- because there’s always a chapter with tea
- tea cakes– because they’re yummy and I needed an excuse to have them
- chimney sweep brooms- marshmallows with pretzel stick handles to dip in chocolate fondue
- tea- Dr Pepper and Coke because the kids like those sodas, it’s not as much of a treat to drink tea (since I drink pots of it in a day)
- bathwater- because Superman desperately wanted Sprite, and that’s the only way he could think of to get it in, they take a lot of baths in the book