This is one of my FAVOURITE books ever I read it year on year, oftenthan 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 are.
It 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 Petrova.
And 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.
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 required 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 books What 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
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 20 ish , 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.
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 figure.
I 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.
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 both.
Pauline, 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 G.
M 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 unique, no one could say it was because of their grandfathers But the way towards their dreams isn t always easy.
It is fairly obvious that some changes were required, 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 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.
I picked this up because it was my partner s favourite book as a child, and I can see why.
It s a very sweet tale Not enough drama, tension and danger for my past and younger self, but a sweet and uplifting book, that I think many children would still appreciate these days.
Definitely a book for younger readers and an uplifting one at that.
An Alternate Cover Edition For This ISBN FromCan Be Found HerePauline, Petrova And Posy Are Orphans Determined To Help Out Their New Family By Joining The Children S Academy Of Dancing And Stage Training But When They Vow To Make A Name For Themselves, They Have No Idea It S Going To Be Such Hard Work They Launch Themselves Into The World Of Show Business, Complete With Working Papers, The Glare Of The Spotlight, And Practice, Practice, Practice Pauline Is Destined For The Movies Posy Is A Born Dancer But Practical Petrova Finds She D Rather Pilot A Plane Than Perform A Pirouette Each Girl Must Find The Courage To Follow Her Dream When I was in my first grade, a teacher took our class to the children s library next to school to be registered I couldn t believe so many books could exist in just one place After 2 3 years it turned out that this was not enough, so I got my card in the adults library next to mine and, unfortunately, my old librarian got offended.
This teacher discovered a totally new world to me I would be before the doors at 8 am waiting for it to open at 9 or wait for about 2 hours and find out it was Sunday, and they didn t work I didn t even reach the return dates, and librarians were always trying to give me 3 4 instead of 1 or 2 books They were just fetching my card without asking my details They were even letting me dig the closed sections as they shortly got lack of any suggestions.
And I wish these librarians could recommend me this book when I was little I wish all the librarians were like Kate from You ve Got Mail well you can t read this book without thinking of her sitting in the Fox bookshop.
Recently I found quite a lot of books I should have read while a teenager or younger I now have a good collection of missed books.
It was just a right book in every way Right message, right characters, right plot Everything was perfect And I hope there is at least one librarian somewhere who hands this book to every child she meets and says you ll love it.