Friday, 21 February 2014

Mary Poppins by P.L Travers and Tape by Steven Camden

To try and catch up and get back into a regular schedule, I have some very short reviews to share :)

Published December 1, 2013 by Harper Collins
Source: the publisher
Rating: 4 paws

From the blurb: When Jane and Michael Banks draw up an advertisement for a nanny, Mary Poppins arrives on a gust of the East Wind and slides up the banister, changing their lives forever. Mary Poppins is a most efficient and loveable character - strict but fair, full of surprises and, in spite of her airs and graces, a true fairy-tale creature with universal appeal.
Soon the Banks children are whisked off on the most exciting journeys they had ever had. But Mary Poppins has only promised to stay until the wind changes...
Mini review:

I have seen the Disney movie version of Marry Poppins many, many times since I was a kid and I adore it. Reading the book was like watching the movie, I had all of the scenes from the movie in my head, and even the stories that were not part of the film were enjoyable. Now that I’ve read about P.L Travers’ dislike of the film, it in no way lessens my love of the movie and I highly recommend the book, to kids, young adults, and adults. 

Tape by Steven Camden
Published January 30, 2014 by Harper Collins
Source: the publisher
Rating: 3 paws

From the blurb: In 1993, Ryan records a diary on an old tape. He talks about his mother’s death, about his dreams, about his love for a new girl at school who doesn’t even know he exists.
In 2013, Ameliah moves in with her grandmother after her parents die. There, she finds a tape in the spare room. A tape with a boy’s voice on it – a voice she can’t quite hear, but which seems to be speaking to her.
Ryan and Ameliah are connected by more than just a tape.
This is their story.

Mini review:

Tape by Steven Camden is set in England and covers two timelines. The first involves thirteen year old Ryan, he lives with his dad, stem-mum and step-brother, Nathan. The second is the story of Ameliah, also a teenager who now lives with her grandma after the death of her parents.

The concept of Tape is clever and it kept me guessing during the beginning of the book but it was then easy to figure out the connection between the two main characters. Ryan and his best mate Liam were funny and entertaining. Ameliah was cute and shy. I enjoyed seeing where each of their stories would take them and their perspectives were easy to switch between.

One thing that bothered me at first was the constant use of ‘mom’ in what was clearly an English book by an English author, but I googled it and there are areas of England that have always used 'mom'. So while it looks totally out of place I suppose this story was set in one of those areas.

Thank you to the wonderful people at Harper Collins for my review copies.


  1. Both books sound absolutely wonderful, Mandee! Mary Poppins! I remember watching it and totally fell in love with it. The cover is sooo cute. <3 I haven't seen Tape around, so thanks for telling us about the book! I love the idea, connected by tape. <3 Definitely will check it out later. :)

    Fabulous review, dear! It seems that you decided to merge your blogs. Yay! Now I can get the updates for your book reviews while browsing on your beautiful manicures at the same time! ;) <3

  2. Aww, I was hoping TAPE would be better since the synopsis seemed so original and promising, but I'm glad you still enjoyed it. And Mary Poppins is, of course, a delight. I read it as a child and it surprised me that there were so many books as part of the series, but I flew through them! Lovely mini-reviews, Mandee! :)

  3. I haven't even thought about reading Mary Poppins before, but I'd love to give it a try one day! I am, of course, a huge fan of the film. I'm glad to hear you liked it just as much. Tape is fairly new to me, and also the fact that 'mom' is used in some places of England! I guess I need to get out of London more often. ;)
    Great mini reviews, Mandee!

  4. I didn't know until I was an adult that Mary Poppins was a book series first, but I'd never been inclined to read it. I've always been torn about the movie - I loved the scenes with Bert and Mr Banks and of course Mary Poppins has always been charming, but the galloping around on merry go round horses and jumping in to paintings for some reason never sat right with me. (Though I didn't have any trouble believing in talking lions and toys that come alive when the children leave the room. )

    After seeing Saving Mr Banks though I've been quite keen to read the books to discover how the series began and how it was changed for Disney, especially since she disagreed with so much of what they wanted. Especially since I've also seen the movie criticised for being a poor representation of her life and actions during the making of the movie.


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