On a rainy afternoon our twelfth reader and I took a stroll around a neighbourhood readying itself for Halloween and spoke about Mary Poppins (1934), the first installment in P.L. Travers’ immensely popular series. Our reader fell in love with the story as a child and had plenty to say about its impact on her reading habits as an adult. We discussed the differences between the original story and the 1964 film adaptation, the appeal of reading magical realist adult fiction, and how learning to believe in magic as a child can benefit you in adulthood.
“I think that Mary Poppins, more than being an actual flesh and blood human that you’re supposed to believe in…[is] sort of a key or a portal to thinking in that way, and…if you’re an adult reading the book, to remind you that it could happen. It could happen. And just because the world’s been disappointing or the world has been a little too real sometimes, it allows you to recapture that sense of belief…Live your lives with wonder.”