Title: Mary Poppins Opens the Door.
Author: P. L. Travis.
Genre: Fiction, literature, children's lit, YA, fantasy, animals.
Publication Date: 1943.
Summary: Mary Poppins reappears just in time! According to her tape measure, Jane and Michael have grown "Worse and Worse" since she went away. But the children won't have time to be naughty with all that Mary has planned for them. A visit to Mr. Twigley’s music box-filled attic, an encounter with the Marble Boy, and a ride on Miss Calico’s enchanted candy canes are all part of an average day out with everyone's favorite nanny.
My rating: 9/10.
♥ "You left me Without a Word, Mary Poppins," she said with an air of dignity. "I think you might tell me when you're coming and going. I never know where I am."
"Nobody does, ma'am," said Mary Poppins, as she calmly unbuttoned her gloves.
♥ "And I've got a rush order that must be finished—a music box playing 'A Day in the Park.'"
"A Day in the Park?" The children stared.
"The Band, you know!" Mr. Twigley explained. "And the sound of the fountains. And gossiping ladies. Rooks caw-cawing, and children laughing, and the slow, soft murmur of trees as they grow."
Mr. Twigley's eyes glowed behind his spectacles as he thought of all the lovely things he would put in the musical box.
"But you can't hear trees growing," protested Michael. "There's no music for that!"
"Tut!" said Mr. Twigley impatiently. "Of course there is! There's a music for everything. Didn't you ever hear the earth spinning? It makes a sound like a humming-top. Buckingham Palace plays 'Rule Britannia'; the River Thames is a drowsy flute. Dear me, yes! Everything in the world—trees, rocks and stars and human beings—they all have their own true music."
♥ "I'm fishing," said Jane, as she lay on her stomach and stretched her hand over the water. She imagined a fishing-rod in her fingers and a line running down, with a hook and a worm. After a little while, she knew, a fish would swim lazily up to the hook and give the worm a tweak. Then, with a jerk, she would land him neatly and take him home in her hat. "Well, I never!" Mrs. Brill would say. "It's just what we needed for supper!"
♥ "You see," he went on in his old, cracked voice, "I know who Jane and Michael are. But I wonder—yes, I wonder indeed, if they know who I am!"
They shook their heads and gazed at him speechlessly.
He moved his carapace a little and thoughtfully blinked for a moment. Then he spoke.
"I am the Terrapin. I dwell at the roots of the world. Under the cities, under the hills, under the very sea itself, I make my home. Up from my dark root, through the waters, the earth rose with its flowers and forests. The man and the mountain sprang from it. The great beasts, too, and the birds of the air."
He ceased for a moment and the creatures in the sea about him were quiet as they watched him. Then he went on. "I am older than all things that are. Silent and dark and wise am I, and quiet and very patient. Here in my cave all things have their beginning. And all things return to me in the end. I can wait. I can wait..."
♥ "You find it strange, do you not?" said the Terrapin. "I can see you are feeling all at sea!" He cackled gently at his own little joke.
Jane nodded. "I thought the sea would be so different, but really, it's very like the land!"
"And why not?" said the Terrapin, blinking. "The land came out of the sea, remember. Each thing on the earth has a brother here—the lion, the dog, the hare, the elephant. The precious gems have their kind in the sea, so have the starry constellations. The rose remembers the salty waters and the moon the ebb and flow of the tide. You, too, must remember it, Jane and Michael! There are more things in the sea, my children, than ever came out of it. And I don't mean fish!" the Terrapin smiled. "But I see that your twenty toes are twitching! Be off with you, now, and join the dance."
♥ "But I don't understand!" he burst out loudly. "Everything's upside down tonight! Why doesn't the Spider frighten Miss Muffett? And the Lion beat the Unicorn?"
"Alfred has told you," said Sleeping Beauty. "Because we are all in the Crack."
"What crack?" demanded Michael.
"The Crack between the Old Year and the New. The Old Year dies on the First Stroke of Midnight and the New Year is born on the Last Stroke. And in between—while the other ten strokes are sounding—there lies the secret Crack."
"Yes?" said Jane, breathlessly, for she wanted to know more.
The Sleeping Beauty gave a charming yawn and smiled upon the children.
"And inside the Crack all things are as one. The eternal opposites meet and kiss. The wolf and the lamb lie down together, the dove and the serpent share one nest. The stars bend down and touch the earth and the young and the old forgive each other. Night and day meet here, so do the poles. The East leans over towards the West and the circle is complete. This is the time and place, my darlings—the only time and the only place—where everybody lives happily ever after. Look!"
♥ "Are you happy, Jane?" Michael called to her, as he and Friday went galloping past.
"For ever and ever!" she answered smiling, and for that moment knew it was true.
♥ "I'm lonely," she said in a whisper to Michael, taking care not to look at him.
"You can't be lonely as long as I'm here!" he put his last brick on the roof of the Castle.
"It's not that kind of loneliness. I feel I'm going to lose something."