Almost everyone remembers the Mary Poppins book or movie growing up, right?
(No matter what generation you’re in…)
One of the things that I love the best is that the Mary Poppins book is a great story for all ages–from tots to teens.
Add in the multiple Mary Poppins movies and you can turn this entire topic into a fantastic theme lesson!
The Mary Poppins Book : A Mary Poppins Summary
DISCLOSURE: Affiliate links are used on this site and may be used in this post.
Please refer to our DISCLOSURE STATEMENT.
Mary Poppins is the first children’s book in a series written by PL Travers.
Mary Poppins is a Nanny with magical powers who comes to the rescue of the Banks family (the main Mary Poppins characters), who live in London.
She swoops in one day after the Banks’ previous Nanny leaves and proceeds to take the four Banks children on magical journeys.
However, Mary Poppins is not up for disobedience and snaps the children right in line.
Despite her strict rules, the kids still bond with Mary Poppins because they have so much fun with her in such different ways than they are accustomed.
About the Author PL Travers
Pamela Lyndon Travers, or PL Travers, is a pen name for the author Helen Goff.
PL Travers first wrote about Mary Poppins in a short story in 1926 and then later expanded the character into a full novel.
Travers said that the character is based on her aunt, whom she calls “Aunt Sass.”
“I thought to myself, ‘Some day, in spite of her, I shall commit the ‘disrespectful vulgarity of putting Aunt Sass in a book.’ And then it occurred to me that this had already been done, though unconsciously and without intent. We write more than we know we are writing. We do not guess at the roots that made our fruit. I suddenly realised that there is a book through which Aunt Sass, stern and tender, secret and proud, anonymous and loving, stalks with her silent feet….You will find her occasionally in the pages of Mary Poppins.”
Also, Travers said that Aunt Sass was very wealthy woman who was also very strict.
“Imagine a bulldog whose ferocious exterior covers a heart tender to the point of sentimentality and you have Christina Saraset [Aunt Sass].”
Then, Travers went on to write Aunt Sass as a Christmas present for friends and family and initially only printed 500 covers of the short stories.
The author did not intend for Mary Poppins to be a children’s novel, but children (as well as adults) were drawn to the whimsical nature of the story.
How many Mary Poppins books are there?
The Mary Poppins book is actually a series of eight total books.
And, the last book was written in 1988.
What are the Mary Poppins books in the series?
- #1: Mary Poppins
- #2: Mary Poppins Comes Back
- #3: Mary Poppins Opens the Door
- #4: Mary Poppins in the Park
- #5: Mary Poppins from A to Z
- #6: Mary Poppins in the Kitchen
- #7: Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane
- #8: Mary Poppins and the House Next Door
Also, you can also get the Mary Poppins book set.
(FYI: Mary Poppins books #4 and #5 are actually more specialty books.)
The original Mary Poppins movie was released in 1964.
The cast of characters included Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins and Dick Van Dyke as Bert.
Mary Poppins Trailer [Video]
Mary Poppins Returns Movie
In 2018, a new Mary Poppins movie was released: Mary Poppins Returns.
In this movie, Mary Poppins makes a visit to the grown Banks children to help out with some issues they are having with their own kids.
Also, the new Mary Poppins cast of characters includes Emily Blunt in the starring Mary Poppins role.
Mary Poppins Returns Trailer
17 Mary Poppins Book and Movie Lesson Plans, Crafts, Activities, and Projects
As you can see, just reading the books and watching the movies (and even comparing and contrasting the books and movies) present fun and interesting learning opportunities. But, here are additional ways to jazz up this theme lesson topic!
- Grab a Mary Poppins study guide
- Read about author PL Travers
- Print out a Mary Poppins literature unit (Grades 3, 4, 5)
- Do a Mary Poppins novel study
- Cook with a Mary Poppins themed recipe
- Create a Mary Poppins Unit Study
- Compare Jesus’ forgiveness examples to Mary Poppins
- Do a Bible Study Unit on Mary Poppins Returns
- Review a production handbook for the Mary Poppins play
- Download a teacher’s guide and lessons for Mary Poppins Returns
- Grab some Mary Poppins coloring pages and activity sheets
- Make some cool Mary Poppins wall art (video below)
- Make a Mary Poppins kite
- Throw a Mary Poppins movie watching or book party with the great ideas found here
- Make this super cute Mary Poppins inspired balloon quilling craft
- Make a Mary Poppins zodiac cake
- Create a Mary Poppins hat ornament
Have other great ideas to pair with Mary Poppins? Leave them in the comments so we can add them to the list!