Jacky’s Book Club – Mary Poppins & The Mum-Minder!

See what our Star Reviewers thought of Jacky’s book club picks this month!

Congratulations to all of our Star Reviewers! These lucky readers entered the prize draw in issue 132 and won a copy of either The Mum-Minder by Jacqueline Wilson or Mary Poppins  by P.L. Travers.

Read all about why Jacky chose these books in issue 135 of The Official Jacqueline Wilson Mag on sale now! The issue features quotes from all the reviewers featured here. You can also find out how to enter the prize draw to become a Star Reviewer yourself!

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

Chloe’s Review

This book is a great short story that anyone new to reading Jacqueline Wilson will love. The story is written in a diary style and takes the reader on the adventures of a nine-year-old girl called Sadie as she helps take over her mum’s job of looking after four young children.

Sadie’s mum is a child minder who looks after Gemma, Vincent, Clive and Sadie’s sister, Sara. It’s the half-term holiday and Sadie’s mum is ill with the flu. Sadie has to take care of her mum and the younger children. The other mums help but they have to take all five children with them to work with each day visiting a different job.

This is the main theme of the story, I feel, which is showing everyone an insight to what different jobs may be like and Sadie has an idea of what job she may like to do when she is older. Another theme is caring but by the end of the book Sadie herself has the flu and worries that she may never be able to give her homework in.

The illustrations by Nick Sharratt help the reader to see what’s going on and what they look like throughout the book.

My rating is 10 out 10

By Chloe, 11, Manchester

Harriet’s Review

The Mum-Minder tells the story of Sadie who lives with her mum and baby sister, Sara. Sadie’s mum is a child minder who falls ill with the flu, so Sadie has to look after her mum and sister, as well as Gemma, Vincent and Clive – the children who Sadie’s mum cares for in her job.

This was a great book to read and I read it in just two days! The characters were like people I could imagine coming across in my own life and the storyline was exciting because there were lots of different settings.

My favourite character was baby Clive and I love Nick’s drawings which, together with the words, bring the story to life. My favourite part of the story is when Vincent’s mum leaves her husband on his own with all of the children to care for.

It was interesting to see how Sadie managed to help her mum, even though she is a child. She probably surprises herself with what she is able to do. The story tells us that Sadie doesn’t get to see her dad very much, but her life is happy and her family is full of love. The ending to the story is very funny, but I will let you discover this for yourself.

By Harriet, 11, Isle of Man

Lily’s Review

This is another brilliant book by Jacqueline Wilson and I would recommend it, five stars, for all ages.

I like the way Sadie is a responsible, capable girl that loves her mum very much. I found it interesting that even when she is having fun with other people she is always worrying about her mum in her head. I would feel the same for my mum if I were in Sadie’s position.

I think the way the plot is set out is brilliant giving you clues to a disaster then going off track and returning to a disaster – in this case, Sadie’s mum’s illness.

The little babies are very clearly described. Not just in the way they look but in the way they act. You can imagine the setting vividly, the snacks laid out on the mum’s bed, the mum knelt down on the floor crying, the babies causing mischief all around her.

‘”You’re being the child minder today Sadie,” Mum said.’ That’s one of my many favourite sentences in the book. It makes me think that Sadie’s mum is proud of her daughter and appreciates her help.

I think the book teaches lessons about responsibility, love and having fun even when life seems unfair and difficult. I have read this book many times and it is still one of the best Jacqueline Wilson books I have ever read and I know I will read it many more times.

Lily, 10, Salisbury

Kitty’s Review

I think The Mum Minder is one of the best Jacqueline Wilson books I have ever read. It is about helping one another. The story is about a nine-year-old girl called Sadie whose mother catches the flu. Her mother is a full time babysitter but her flu means that she cannot take care of the children. So, Sadie steps in and says that she will look after them. The mothers of the babysat children think Sadie cannot handle it all so they decide to take turns in looking after all of the children at work…

My favourite character was Sadie because she helped everyone and didn`t complain about it. This is a good lesson to learn. My least favourite character was Vincent’s mom because she left Vincent’s dad all alone to look after all of the children.

It surprised me when Sadie and Sara got the flu because they were the ones who were helping their mom get over her flu and they caught it. The word choice that the author used made it very easy to visualise in my head. My favourite phrase was “us girls stick together” which they said repetitively.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants a book that they cannot take their eyes off.

Kitty, 9, Coventry

Isabel’s Review

This brilliant book is about a mum who is a child minder. She gets ill with the flu, so her daughter Sadie has to look after the babies, Sara (her sister), vain Gemma, demanding Vincent and crying-out-loud baby Clive.

The book is written like a diary as it is Sadie’s school project for the summer, which makes it more interesting to read.

The settings were really good and funny because the babies did their own thing!

My favourite character was Sadie’s mum, but with all the babies she has to look after, I wouldn’t want to swap lives!

I would give this book five stars for the Cool Characters, and Marvellous Mums because it was very lifelike and child-friendly.

I would recommend this book to other readers.

Isabel, 8, Sheffield

Umamah’s Review

The Mum-Minder is about a young girl, Sadie, and her mother who is a child minder. It’s hard work taking care of four noisy, messy children and one day mum finds herself sick with a flu. Thank goodness she’s got Sadie for help! Whilst her mum’s in bed, Sadie is stuck with the babies. They have three adventures: in a police station, an office and a chocolate shop. It can be tiring but also very fun at times.

I found this book hilariously funny and very enjoyable. If you have younger brothers or sisters you can really relate to the story. It is a good introduction to Jacqueline Wilson books and perfect for all readers, especially younger fans.

Sadie’s character is sensible as she behaves herself, is very loving and tries her best to take care of the babies and mum. I think it’s one of my favourite Jacqueline Wilson books now! I would rate it ten out of ten.

Umamah, 11, Peterborough

Sophie’s Review


Sadie is writing a holiday diary over the one-week half term: Sadie’s mum is a childminder and Sadie’s baby sister Sara is enough trouble. When her mum gets ill with the flu, the other mums are left in charge of the children for three days. Gemma’s mum, a policewoman, takes the children to her police station and a few of the other policemen help out. Then Vincent’s mum, a business woman, and Vincent’s dad, take the children to the office but then Vincent‘s mum storms off in a huff leaving Vincent’s dad in charge till she gets back. After that, Clive’s mum, a chocolate shop owner, takes the children to the chocolate shop where Clive’s granny helps Clive’s mum out. After three days, Sadie’s mum gets a bit better so she goes shopping with Sadie and Sara. On their way back Sadie sneezes lots and has the flu!

I was surprised when Sara managed to chew a whole corner of the book, Dominic the Vole. The story had a twist when Sadie became ill after her mum had the flu.

My favourite character is Sara, Sadie’s baby sister, because she is always mischievous and I found it hilarious when she hypnotised the police inspector and called him Dad-dad.

Yes, I really liked the book because it is very touching and my favourite phrase ‘Us girls stick together!’ tells you that teamwork is the heart of success!

I would give this book a big… ?????

Sophie, 10, Essex

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

Anya’s Review

This book is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. It has lots of different stories hidden away in the book. It has got lots of very different twists and turns compared to the film everyone knows.

It felt like a portal – it took me into a fairy tale world. This book is really good. I would recommend reading it even if you have watched the film.

Four stars.

Anya, 10, Nottingham

Ella’s Review

The story surprised me because I have watched Mary Poppins and it was very different so I didn’t know what to expect. They didn’t include the same things so it was very fun to try and work out if this was in the film.

By the end of the story, Michael and Jane were much more mature and liked Mary Poppins a lot more. I think the maids and their mother and father didn’t change at all. Near the end, the twins showed that they were not just two tiny twins called John and Barbara but that they actually had their own point of view. Mary Poppins was less strict the nearer I got to the end as she was planning on leaving.

I think the author described the setting beautifully. I love the thought of cherry trees in a peaceful lane (with a ship house). I would have loved to have lived there. I also love the other descriptions of the north, east, south and west.

I really loved the style because that was what made it unique. It was so old-fashioned without any modern technology so it made it really relaxing to just sit back and make the most of living in the past. My favourite sentences were probably the bit where Mary Poppins told Michael and Jane the things never happened. Like when he asked about the zoo and sitting upside down.

I love the theme! Especially as the author explains them so well. And also how things you would think would never happen, can, if you just believe in it. Mary Poppins is quite an old book but that doesn’t mean it is not an incredibly good one.

Ella, 8, Woking

Romeesa’s Review

I think this is an amazing book and would recommend it to 7-12-year-olds. It is fascinating and magical, and it’s the type of book you don’t want to put down. I would rate it five stars!

This book is about a lady called Mary Poppins, who comes to the Banks family to work as their nanny. It is surprising that Mary Poppins can do such extraordinary things like sliding up banisters instead of down and painting stars into the sky!

The main characters in this book are Mary Poppins and Jane and Michael Banks. Mary Poppins is a wonderful nanny that can be a bit strict, but full of surprises and has many amazing abilities. Jane and Michael are brave, polite characters who are never afraid to do anything. Michael is very curious sometimes, unlike Jane, who is imaginative and full of ideas. I like these characters because they are very adventurous and get up to many unusual, exciting things.

There are a range of settings in this book which I like because they are magical and easy to imagine. My favourite setting is Bert’s picture of the country because when he and Mary jump into the picture, it describes the ‘soft crisp grass’ and the ‘blue sea in the distance’. It is a very calm setting unlike the zoo that Jane and Michael go to.

In this book, the author uses a vast variety of words, sentences and vocabulary choices. One sentence I especially liked was: ‘As each one was placed in position it began to twinkle furiously, sending out rays of sparkling golden light’ because the author really shows how passionately the star shines.

By Romeesa, 10, Birmingham

Tabby’s Review

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There are a lot of twists and turns as you join the adventure in this book.

The way the characters are described made me feel as if I was there and that they were talking to me like I was Mary. My favourite characters were John and Barbara Banks (introduced in Chapter 9 – John and Barbara’s Story).

I think that each chapter is a different adventure. My favourite chapter was: Miss Lark’s Andrew. Andrew was Miss Lark’s child. But not just any child – a dog child!!!

If I gave this book a rating out of five, I would give it……………………………. Five with a capital F!!!!

Tabby, 9, Preston

Aurora’s Review

Mary Poppins is full of surprising and interesting ideas. For example, the story of the red cow, or celebrating Mary Poppins’ birthday at the zoo, or when Miss Corrie starts sticking the paper stars on to the sky…

The author made the settings come to life using descriptive language and by putting some pictures here and there.

This book is very unlike the film!

Overall, once I read it, I thought it was a very good book.

Aurora, 9, Abingdon

Which book do you like the sound of best? Have you read these books? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

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