Mary Poppins

Chapter Book

Bibliographic Information: Travers, P.L. Mary Poppins. Orlando: Harcourt Books, 1934.

Plot Description:
Jane and Michael Banks’ nanny quits suddenly, and Mary Poppins answers their mother’s advertisement. The children curiously watch her slide up the banister after their mother and then watched Mary Poppins unpack a lot of belongings from her visibly empty bag. On her day off, she visits her friend Bert, and they take a trip into a chalk pavement picture he had drawn. Mary Poppins brings the children to meet her uncle for tea, and they roll about the ceiling laughing. She takes them to the cathedral to feed the birds. She introduces them to her friend Fannie who makes gingerbread wrapped with a gilt paper star. The children later see her hanging the stars in the sky. The wind turns, and Mary Poppins takes her leave from the Banks’ employment, flying away on the west wind, held aloft by her umbrella.

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile: 830; Accelerated Reader: 6.1

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This book is written in third-person, focusing on the relationship between the children and Mary Poppins. It teaches about how change can be good and unexpected. The text is 5th grade reading level.

Content Area: English

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Literature for K-5: #2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text; #4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes; #10 Read and comprehend literature in grade level text complexity range.
  • CCSS for Informational Text for K-5: #5 Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts; #8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).
  • CCSS for Foundational Skills for K-5:  #4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great chapter book to use in English Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to 3rd grade through 5th grade. It explores themes like friendship and adventure.

Note: Mary Poppins is almost always referred to using her whole name. The movie starring Julie Andrews was one of the staples of my childhood. The recent film “Saving Mr. Banks” was all about Disney trying to turn Travers’ novels into the Julie Andrews movie.


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