Mary Poppins Retires
Mary Poppins Retires is an exciting, fun and funny take on the original story. After having spent the bulk of her life force fixing kids, Mary Poppins discovers she faces the diminishing powers that come with age. It is, she decides, time to retire. She and her parrot Longjohn go about the happy business of building a dream house made of seashells on the seashore, but Jeremy Abrams needs her... More
Mary Poppins Retires is an exciting, fun and funny take on the original story...
After having spent the bulk of her life force fixing kids, Mary Poppins discovers she faces the diminishing powers that come with age. It is, she decides, time to retire. She and her parrot Longjohn go about the happy business of building a dream house made of seashells on the seashore.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Abrams, African American, eight and three quarters years old, faces seemingly insurmountable problems. His dad died in the war, and his mom, a once popular math teacher, but now burdened with a broken heart, succumbs to drug addiction. Jeremy lives with his grandmother, Adeline, who unfortunately has “the Alzheimer’s.” Our hero suffers from night terrors, experiencing frightening visions in his sleep. Perhaps the young man’s biggest problem arises from his terrifying encounters with the gang comprised of the three meanest kids in town.
Jeremy’s grandmother has always loved Mary Poppins (since the long ago release of the popular movie and the books before that.) Realizing that Jeremy needs help, she begins writing letters addressed to her heroine. Longjohn, the parrot, delivers Adeline’s letters to his mistress, though he argues (rather passionately) against intervening in Jeremy’s troubled life. Of course Mary Poppins has to help. She arranges for Jeremy’s mom—quite far gone now--to find a giant puppy and leave this incredible present on Jeremy’s doorstep on Christmas Eve. Jeremy’s mom hopes the dog provides her boy with the love she cannot give him.
It is indeed love at first sight; Jeremy names the dog Oso. At first it seems the remarkable canine has solved all of Jeremy’s problems. Jeremy is no long bothered by night terrors. The gang admires Jeremy’s big and courageous dog, and at last they leave Jeremy alone. Jeremy is able to concentrate on school and his beloved math club until—
Jeremy’s grandmother dies.
Overwhelmed with grief, Jeremy is thrown into foster care.
Worse, Oso is taken to the pound.
Jeremy’s new foster ‘mother’, Ms. Rail, is a four hundred pound woman who does nothing but eat ice-cream and cake and watch TV. She won’t let Jeremy outside and even insists on ‘homeschooling’ him. She only humors Jeremy’s extreme anxiety to get Oso back. Desperate to save his beloved dog, certain he could survive anything if only he could get Oso back, Jeremy tries to escape, to no avail, until…
From the kitchen window, he notices his new next-door neighbor moving in. An older woman with gray hair and a parrot, she arrives in an old station wagon. Despite her troubling power surges and black outs, Mary Poppins sets about helping Jeremy. This involves soliciting support from the gang, an old purple bike with hidden exhilarating and dangerous powers, a special Mary Poppins app on one of the boy’s phones, giant magic balloons, all mixed together in adventure of hair raising excitement.
The ending of the story packs a powerful emotional punch. With a little help from our heroine, Ms. Rail becomes as dedicated to fitness as she once was to ice-cream and cake, the three boys in the gang are individually transformed by the adventure and a bit of Mary Poppins’ magic. Still, suddenly, the wind changes. Jeremy knows what this means. Terrified of being abandoned again, he rushes home. Mary Poppins and Longjohn are indeed gone. Unbeknownst to Jeremy, Mary Poppins had maneuvered Jeremy’s once loved mom toward help and just as he begins to experience this loss, a knock comes at the door and he opens it to find his mother at last…
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