Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Kathy McCullough
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Nonsensicle! Impossible! Unless, of course, Mary Poppins is involved! Michael and Jane Banks are all grown up in Mary Poppins Returns and are facing new challenges. Earlier in the year, Michael's wife passed away and now their house is going to be repossessed by the bank if they can't find their bank shares certificate. Along comes Mary Poppins to care for Michael's children, Annabelle, John, and Georgie. A bathtub turns into a deep-sea adventure and a broken China bowl leads to a music hall. While helping the children remember their creativity and imaginations, Mary is also able to remind Michael what is most important in his life in a few small events that help save their house and bring the family closer together again.
Throughout the book, many similarities and differences are seen between the original Mary Poppins and Mary Poppins Returns. Teachers could use the two to compare and contrast both books while also having the children compare each book to their movies. When discussing themes, it is clear that the imagination and adventure in Mary Poppins Returns encourages both adults and children alike to embrace their creativity. It helps the reader learn that there is always more than one way to look at a situation and more than one solution to a problem. At the start of the book, Michael is starting to become "grouchy" like his father and his two oldest children are having to grow up faster than most children. As events unfold, Michael realizes how important his family is to him and finds the joy he had as a child one again. In the end, only those that embrace their inner child and allow themselves to use their imaginations, experience the magic of Mary Poppins and find joy again in their lives.