"It's obvious from the title and the first paragraph of the synopsis that comparisons are being made between Brenda Ashford and Mary Poppins. Having just read P. L. Travers' classic story of the nanny that Disney called "practically perfect in every way" I can tell you, Brenda Ashford is not Mary Poppins. She's better. The Mary Poppins of Travers' book really isn't a nanny I would have wanted. Mary is sharp-tongued and vain and while she may love the children underneath all that--it certainly isn't obvious. Nurse Brenda, on the other hand, loves her charges and her boundless affection for all children comes though in every line of the story she has to tell. All of the children who came under her care were most fortunate, indeed.
I loved reading her down-to-earth and common sense advice for raising children. She truly has a knack for knowing exactly how to deal with small people. And she tells her story very well with plenty of gracious good humor. It was also very interesting to read about Britain from pre-World War II days through the present. I'm particularly interested in those earlier years and while I have read a great deal about that time period, it was refreshing to get an eye-witness account from someone who worked in a child-care role that many of us (particularly Americans) know very little about. So many of my Golden Age mysteries have nannies as characters, but I couldn't really understand them since I knew so little about how they were trained and what their lives were like.
A lovely memoir that was a quick and enjoyable read. Four and a half stars."
- Bev, http://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-spoonful-of-sugar-review.html