Ain't It a Glorious Day?
Last year, Little Lion's class discovered Mary Poppins. They went crazy over the musical and its songs. Little Lion's teacher would play clips from the movie when the kids were good. And, after several months, we finally watched the movie together at home--I say finally because even though I'd always heard about Mary Poppins and knew some of the songs, I had never actually watched the film. (Now I've watched it more than a dozen times....) So when I spied a new Mary Poppins picture book coming out, I was quick to pre-order it.
Mary Poppins: Up, Up and Away (published January 2017) takes the heart of the story of Mary Poppins and re-creates it with a simple story line and detailed paper-cutouts that are super-imposable on either page of a spread. Yes, that's right--each black silhouetted cut-out can be placed on either side of the page! The result is a breathtaking rendition of this well-known favorite musical.
The underlying story of the original Mary Poppins is the reunification of the Banks family as a family. Yes, they were physically together, but it takes this special nanny to make Mr. Banks realize what he has been missing out with Michael, Jane, and even his wife.
And just as the film/musical focuses on the ethereal and imaginative world that Mary Poppins introduces to Michael and Jane, each spread in Up, Up and Away features the charms of London and the imagination.
I can't stop admiring the intricate cutouts throughout this picture book that will delight Mary Poppins fans, young and old. And I love that Mary Poppins (spoiler alert!) moves on to the next family when her job is done--her message of family love is the reason I've included this book for review this month.
Rating: the floor. This one is definitely a keeper, and needs easy access to ponder over all the details. Though, admittedly, if you're not as familiar with the story line, you may not appreciate the book as much. I knew that we would like this book so much that we bought two copies--one for us, and one for Little Lion's kindergarten teacher. Friendly frogs forever!
Ages: These pages are very delicate so ages 4-5 years old on up.
Side note: Even though it was filmed in 1964, Mary Poppins was set in the 1910s. I love that Mrs. Banks was a suffragette, even as she was clueless about her own children. It may have been trying to reflect the times as she didn't know what to do with Jane and Michael without a nanny and she had a difficult time hiring a proper one....so Mr. Banks takes it upon himself to write an ad in the paper. Little does he know that Jane and Micheal wrote their own ad--that conveniently fits the description of a certain nanny who blows in with the east wind.
And I didn't realize that the musical was based on a book series by P.L. Travers, originally published in 1934. I may have to check them out! Especially as I'm curious to see which quirky details in the musical originated in the books.
ETA: I just found Helene Druvert's Anatomie, which looks to be a gorgeously illustrated anatomy book with paper cut-outs. If only I understood French! I'm crossing my fingers and toes that an English edition will come out soon....