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10 thoughts on “Ballet Shoes

  1. Carre Gardner Carre Gardner says:

    Remember the scene in You've Got Mail where Colleen Kelly Meg Ryan is sitting in the children's section of the newly opened Foxx Books and a customer comes in looking for the Shoes books by Noel Streatfield? The clerk has clearly never heard of them but Colleen has and she tells the customer that The Ballet Shoes is definitely the one she should start withThis is that bookIn the twenty first century a particularly cynical reader might accuse the book of containing certain tropes that have become so common as to be considered cliche these days The plucky British orphans; the valiantly struggling relation; the general bonhomie of the outside world which makes everything somehow bearable; the happy ending Yet note that I've awarded this an uneuivocal 5 stars That's because sugary it may be and is but darn it there are just some days when you're in the mood for sugar And plucky British orphans And happy endings And if you happen to be in such a mood on the day you read this book or listen to the audiobook version as I did then you're in for a five star treat Makes you believe the world is jolly good at that old chum Pour me another cup of tea


  2. Cora Tea Party Princess Cora Tea Party Princess says:

    5 Words Classic Christmas talent family danceThis is one of my FAVOURITE books ever I read it year on year often than once and I never get bored How could I?Ballet Shoes follows the Fossil sisters and their journey through life as they try to get their name into the history books because of who they areIt's a book that always makes me smile that could cheer me up on the most miserable of days And it has this kick ass thread of girl power throughout a discreet hint of feminism that makes you root for PetrovaAnd this edition? It's gorgeous I think I have about 5 copies of this book and this one is by far the most beautiful And Christmas sy


  3. Kressel Housman Kressel Housman says:

    The story of Pauline Petrova and Posy will be in my heart for life even though I must confess that was introduced to these charming and unforgettable characters from the 1975 British television version That kind of ruined me for the book; all I'd do was nosh through my favorite scenes Only when I was in my 20's did I read it cover to cover when I introduced its pleasures to a girl I was tutoring Pauline Petrova and Posy are three adopted girls being raised in London in the 1930's Because of the Depression they get training to earn money as performers on stage Pauline turns out to have a flair for acting and Posy turns out to be a ballerina of rare genius Petrova hates the stage and goes along with it only because she has to Her dream is to learn to fly an airplane It's a very different experience to love this book at age 10 read it at age 20ish and think about it at age 40 As a girl I dreamed of being Posy but I identified with Petrova if only because of her Russian background In my 20's I was struck by how selfish Posy was about her art But now in my 40's and as a professional? writer I understand that inspiration IS selfish When you have something to create it just takes over your life But all this reminiscing has given me other thoughts too For one thing I think the ending has a really positive message to girls especially starry eyed ones who dream of the glamor of a stage career There's a difference between being famous and making history


  4. Calilibrarian Calilibrarian says:

    I had two career goals as a little girl I would be a ballerinaor a librarian heh Well I started ballet at three and continued through college but alas never made it to the big stage I am a librarian though so go figureI loved these books so much as a child All of her series that I read I should say but especially ballet shoes This is a fascinating vanished world


  5. Cathy Cathy says:

    Thank you Kathleen Kelly for alerting me to the existence of this book This was really cute and heartwarming And I think it's probably time I watch You've Got Mail again


  6. Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore says:

    Professor Mathew Brown or Great Uncle Mathew or Gum lives with his niece Sylvia and her nurse Nana and from time to time takes off on expeditions from where he brings back fossils adding to a huge collection which has to be thinned down from time to time One day he decides to travel by sea rather than land and from three of these voyages brings back three little babies either orphaned or whose parents are unable to take care of them and these three little girls are Pauline Petrova and Posy who comes with a pair of ballet shoes her mother gave her They take on the surname Fossil for that is what ties them together But while Pauline dreams of being an actress and Posy can be nothing but a dancer she is one Petrova is happiest with cars and engines Gum hasn’t returned from his latest expedition for long nor has been heard from and money is tight so Sylvia decides to take in boarders and this leads not only to the children making new friends but also entering the Children’s Academy of Dancing where Pauline and Posy are happy and Petrova simply does all that is reuired of her so that she can begin earning and support the house as soon as possible that is at age 12 when no other option would be available to them We join them on their journey at the academy as their train to hone their different talents begin their careers on the stage and try to get their names into history booksWhat a charming and lovely story this was I loved all the characters—the three girls are all very likeable and even when they have their difficult moments or sulks they essentially remain nice girls; Nana is sensible yet not too strict; Sylvia is also very young and must struggle to keep things going The boarders—the Simpsons a couple back home from Malaysia Theo who teaches at the Academy and the two doctors of literature and mathematics respectively—are very likeable too and one loves how all of them begin to become a big family though each of them lead their own lives The girls’ time and experiences at the Academy reminded me very much of the other series from the 1940s that I’ve been reading The Blue Door series by Pamela Brown The hard work that goes into training and into the roles themselves the fact that success can go to one’s head very easily and fall from it can be truly hard and of course the joys that little successes and opportunities can bring This was a really gentle and sweet story which I truly enjoyed reading The lovely illustrations by Ruth Gervis add a lot to its charm Loved it


  7. Anny Anny says:

    This is probably the first book ever where I cannot say 'The book is better' straight away First of all it is clear that the book is for children and the film is for the grown ups But the beauty remains in bothPauline Petrova and Posy are sister by 'accident' as they were all adopted by a wealthy and nice uncle Matthew whom they called Gum because Great Uncle Matthew GUM After he brought the youngest Posy home though he disappeared There was enough money in the bank for a couple of years but it was not enough and soon they ran short of it The sisters were all talented Pauline could act and recite and Posy wasn't very far from being a professional ballerina And Petrova was incredibly clever although she was interested in cars and engines instead of performing arts As the girls grew up they decided to act for money so they could support their poor household They have made a vow regularly because they believed they could achieve great things And because their names were uniue no one could say it was because of their grandfathers But the way towards their dreams isn't always easyIt is fairly obvious that some changes were reuired so the film could be a family friendly one So that parents would not be too bored But to be honest I liked the change I enjoyed the relationship and the mild romantic tension between Garnie and Mr Simpson and I really missed that in the book But I do understand that children might really not find that very interesting On the other hand I'm really sad the part with the Blue Bird play wasn't in the film as I think it could have been done in a really nice way To conclude I would say that the book is probably as good as the film but it's still leaning towards the statement that the film is a little bit better But it is a purely subjective view because I'm very sensitive towards films like thisand come on this one has even got Emma Watson in it


  8. Mary Durrant Mary Durrant says:

    A wonderful reread of a childhood favouriteJust perfect


  9. Trish Trish says:

    I first came across this author when Noel Streatfeild was mentioned in one of my all time favourite movies You've Got Mail It prompted me to get at least two books this one and the one I read last year Then I discovered that I had actually already known this story as I had seen a movie adaptation with a young Emma Watson some years ago Now I'm correcting the error of not having read the source material yetThe story is that of three young girls a few years apart who have been taken in by Mr Matthew Brown Uncle GUM Pauline is the oldest and was lost at sea after her and Uncle Gum's ship sank Nobody knows what's happened to her parents Petrova the second oldest is the daughter of Russian high borns that fell on hard times after the Revolution and died Posy the youngest is the daughter of a dancer who couldn't take care of herWhile Uncle Matthew is on a years long voyage the girls and Sylvia Uncle Matthew's niece and Nana fall on hard times financially until even turning their home into a boarding house hardly is enough to keep the little family going But even children can help in such situations In this case they enter the Children's Academy of Dancing and Stage TrainingPauline is a talented actress Posy a magnificent dancer only Petrova is too practical and would rather fly a plane than perform in any sort of wayThis is the story of how they found their place in the worldThe book was written in or around 1936 and the age shows in some opinions especially with Nana But it's still a charming little book full of very likeable characters unlike some in the other I've read and the days and months and years fly by while we follow the girls as they practice and try to make a name for themselvesFrom fossils filled houses to magnificent stages in theatres and even Hollywood this reading journey was fantastic and made me feel all warm and cozy inside


  10. Mimi Mimi says:

    Reading this just made me happy Ridiculous but true It's really a lovely book with strong sensible characters


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Ballet Shoes When Sylvia and her old nurse Nana agree to keep house for Gum they know they will be looking after his fossil collection while his away on his travels But imagine their surprise when one day he brings them something else three baby girls whose names all being with 'P' Pauline Petrova and Posy Fossil are not really sisters even their surname is invented The girls decide to 'put our name in the history books because it's our very own' and enrol at the Children's Academy of Dancing and Stage Training Each Fossil uses her individual talents to achieve their joint aim in this captivating story now a modern children's classic2 CDs 2 hrs