Cover detail of Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

Happy Easter to you all!

I hope that wherever you are, you are enjoying time off with loved ones, the celebration, the weather and of course, eating lots of chocolate eggs. Over here at CB&C Towers, we have some special visitors - my Sister, fresh from recommending SAS Rogue Heroes to us all is visiting with her 2 dogs. We are very much looking forward to catching up with her.

Read my review of SAS Rogue Heroes by Ben McIntyre

In book news, have you been watching Between the Covers? This series, available on the BBC Iplayer is back. And by back, I mean about 4 episodes in. This year, as well as reviewing new books, they have a Eurovision theme. Books and Eurovision sounds like my idea of heaven! The series guests will be talking about books from or featuring countries who are in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. I adore Eurovision, and this year am going to a party where we have agreed to dress up as one of the countries.

Have you seen the cover launch of Richard Osman's forthcoming book? I was convinced it would be yellow, but instead the publishers have chosen a purple cover. It looks good. The Last Devil to Die is published 14 September 2023. I can't wait.

Read my review of The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Today's review, (got there eventually) was our pick for the Village classics book club and is the marvellous Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. Let's get stuck in shall we?

The Plot

Pauline, Petrova and Posy Fossil are orphans, found by Great Uncle Matthew (GUM for short) on his travels. Pauline longs to be an actress, Petrova want to fly aeroplanes and Posy would dance all day if she could!
But when GUM disappears and money is short they have to put their ambitions aside. Fortunately help comes from Madame Fidolia at the Children's Academy of Dancing and Stage Training and before long, the Fossil girls are preparing for a dazzling life on the stage.....

My Thoughts

One of the very interesting things about being part of the Village Classics Book Club is regarding the children's books that we read. There has definitely been a correlation of those who love re-reading the books we read as children. But for people, who did not read the book whilst young, the response has been a bit meh. (Moonfleet I'm looking at you). I'm pleased to report this bucked the trend! I had not read this before, but I did love it.

Growing up, on a Sunday afternoon there was usually a cosy teatime children's series. This was usually The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe in the lead up to Christmas, but I do remember The Little Princess and The Secret Garden. Me and my sister would watch these eating microwaved treacle sponge pudding with carnation milk, the light slowly fading, knowing before long it would be school the next day. But for a moment we felt very cosy and warm. And this novel gives you exactly the same feeling - crumpets and a coal fire. It's a warm hug of a book.

The family are wonderfully eccentric. GUM enjoys travelling and his fossils, Sylvia, Nana and the children all remain the house trying to make each penny stretch and offer board to an eclectic mix of characters. All of which have profound influence on the 3 orphans. We see a snapshot into a child's life on the stage which is fascinating, the stress of auditioning and what can happen when a young actress becomes slightly too big for her boots!

I loved the bond between the 3 sisters, the vow on each of their birthday's, the support and also the piece around following your dreams and supporting others to do the same.

This is a truly heartwarming children's classic. It is very clear to see how this has become a much-loved children's classic (it even features in the film You've Got Mail!) and even better there are plenty more to read. There was even a wonderful chapter all about Christmas. And so this was a 5 Star read for me. Loved it!