The story has been brought to movie and TV screens countless times for a reason. For parents of little girls going through their "I hate everything" stage, it is the perfect piece of propaganda. It seamlessly combines flowers, mansions and everything else that little girls go apeshit for with the exact message that their parents would have taught them if they'd thought of it: If you're nice to your family and go quietly play in the yard, your life will turn into a magical fairy tale.
"Yeah, I thought that once. Now I'm a groundskeeper."
Oh, and also, black people are the cause of everything that's bad in the world.
In the book, on the first morning after Mary moves into her uncle's mansion, she is awakened by a straight-talking maidservant named Martha. It's the sort of character who would be played by a sassy black lady in a modern American movie, but this is England, so Martha is just sassy and poor. She's so sassy, in fact, that she tells her child-boss Mary that she thought she was going to be black because she came from India. Mary of course throws a temper tantrum, exclaims that blacks "are not people," and bursts into tears.
And now from racism into a catchy song, just as Disney would do.