Title: Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane.
Author: P.L. Travers.
Genre: Fiction, literature, children's lit, YA, adventure, fantasy.
Publication Date: 1982.
Summary: Mary Poppins takes the Banks children on yet another memorable adventure, this time on the magical Midsummer's Eve. All kinds of strange things can happen, and even mythical visitors come down from the heavens and animals speak. But Mary Poppins takes it all in stride, drawing everyone, even the trembling Park Keeper, into the spirit of a romantic and magical holiday.
My rating: 8.5/10.
♥ “Professor, I’ve been waiting for you. You must have lost your way.”
“Well, that’s the way with ways, I suppose. Either you lose them or they lose you…”
♥ “You’d think they thought they owned the Park,” said the Park Keeper, who thought he owned it himself.
♥ It might be an Old Wives’ Tale she was telling. But with these, he knew, you had to be careful. Unwise to make a mock of them: they were apt to turn out to be true.
♥ The sun had now laggardly slipped away, leaving behind the long blue twilight – not day, not night, but something in between – the hour that is thronged with fate.
♥ The Nightingale, now the night was come, came to the full of his song. Jug, jug, jug, tereu! it went, over and over, from the elder tree, outsinging the hum of the top. The song would never be done, it seemed, and the top would never stop spinning. The circle of humans and constellations would go on turning for ever.
♥ The Herb Garden he knew so well was now another garden. There, in a ring, were people he knew, the familiar solid and substantial shapes of Mary Poppins and her charges, Mrs Corry and her two large daughters, his Mother in her shabby shawl. But who were the others, the bevy of transparent figures, the creatures that seemed to be made of light – insubstantial luminous boys hand in hand with substantial children; a man in a lion-skin, bright as the sun, bending towards Mary Poppins; a Bear and a Hare, both shimmering, a big Bird lifting wings of light and a sparkling Fox with flowers on his paws?
And suddenly, like a man who has lost, and regained, his senses, the Park Keeper understood. He had known those figures when he was a boy, and many more besides. And he had forgotten what he had known, denied it, made it a thing of naught, something to be sneered at! He put his hands up to his eyes to hide the springing tears.
♥ “Forgive me, friends! I didn’t reckernise you!” the Park Keeper called to the nothingness. “And I didn’t reckernise meself, neither. I forgot what I knew when I was a boy. It needed the dark to show things plain. But I know who you are now, all of you. And I know who I am, Orion, sir!...”
♥ Mary Poppins regarded him sagely. “All that’s lost is somewhere,” she told him.
♥ “Impossible!” He laughed nervously, as he met Mary Poppins’ glance.
“All things are possible,” she said primly.
His eyebrows went up. Was she mocking him?
“Even the impossible?” he asked, mocking her in return.
“Even that,” she assured him.
♥ Jane came to the other side so that, with Mary Poppins between, all three were pushing together. They were suddenly glad to feel her nearness in the wide unfamiliar darkness.
For this was no longer their daytime Park, their intimate ordinary playground. They had never before been up so late nor understood that night changes the world and makes the known unknown.