Flash Reviews (27th August 2013)

Mrs Pepperpot Turns Detective by Alf Proysen
I loved this little book when I was younger, and after mentioning Mrs Pepperpot in a review which I wrote not too long ago, the ever-present nostalgia within me has longed to read it again. I did so yesterday afternoon whilst sitting in the sunshine, and as the copy is rather short (it only contains a handful of tiny stories), I was able to get through it in a short window of time. The tales here are sweet, and I love how stubborn Mrs Pepperpot is.

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot
I vaguely remember reading Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats during my childhood, but when I saw a gorgeous little Faber edition in Cambridge, I couldn’t resist purchasing it. Here, Eliot has presented a lovely and rather fun collection of poems. My favourite aspect in the collection was that the cats had such distinct personalities. A very enjoyable (if rather too slim!) book, which has made me want to read more of Eliot’s poetry.

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
Mary Poppins is a truly marvellous novel, and so much better than the film! I love Travers’ writing, and the characters she has created. Stubborn, headstrong Mary Poppins is a real treasure, and the children are presented realistically. I love the format of the short stories which combine to make a whole, and they have been woven together wonderfully. The stories here are fantastical, but at the same time, they are not too far removed from reality. Yes, Mary Poppins can do marvellous things – slide up banisters and levitate tables full of afternoon tea, for example – but she is also rather firmly grounded. The balance between the two has been struck marvellously. The entirety has been written so lovingly, and it is clear that Travers had a ball whilst constructing this novel. The best thing about this utterly charming book is the fact that it is the first in an entire series, all of which feature the rather unique Mary Poppins


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