Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ballet Shoes

Title: Ballet Shoes

Series: The Shoes Series (Book #1)

Year: 1936

Author: Noel Streatfeild

Summary: Pauline, Petrova and Posy are found as orphaned babies in different parts of the world by eccentric fossil collector and explorer Gum. He adopts them, takes them to his London home and leaves them in the care of his niece Sylvia and the family Nurse. Then off he goes to continue his exploring, saying that he'll be back in five years' time. When the three little girls are old enough, they choose the surname Fossil for themselves and vow to make the name famous. At first they lead privileged and sheltered lives. But when Gum fails to return after five years, Sylvia's money begins to run out. First she is forced to take in some boarders - an engaging and eclectic mix of characters - but then she decides that the girls should go to acting school. This way they will be able to earn some money before they grow up. Pauline adores the school, as she dreams of becoming an actress. Petrova hates it, all she wants to do is learn about cars and planes and engines. Posy loves it too - she is born to be a dancer and the school is the perfect place for her. (from Goodreads)

Main Characters:
~ Pauline Fossil
~ Petrova Fossil
~ Posy Fossil
~ Sylvia Brown 
~ Nana

Review: Pauline, Petrova, and Posy are three little girls who haven't a family to call their own. Each from a different part of the world, they find a home with Gum (Great Uncle Matthew) who collects them as playthings for his grown-up niece, Sylvia. As he's always bringing home fossils to exhibit, it is decided that the children be given the surname "Fossil." And that's where their story begins.

I was introduced to Ballet Shoes at a very early age, as our library had a VHS copy of the 1975 series and my family borrowed it several times throughout the year. It was one of my favorite films, but I didn't know it was based on a book until I was much older. Otherwise, I'd have read it a lot sooner. The novel is quite charming, if you're looking for a sweet read about three sisters. It's not the gripping type of modern fluff, but it's the perfect book to just relax with and enjoy or read aloud with your family. Personally, I thought the 2007 film adaption closer to the original plot of the novel, but for sentimental reasons, I still like the 1975 one better. 

My favorite Fossil has always been Petrova, and that didn't change upon reading the novel. Petrova is so selfless; even when her two sisters get wrapped up in their stardom, she's content to let them be. She doesn't care for dancing or acting at the academy, yet she continues on, knowing that the jobs she can get with her experience, she can bring home more money to Sylvia, the girls' beloved guardian. Pauline thrives on acting and her success on the stage definitely gives her a big head. But the author does not pet her vanity; no, for Pauline learns to be humble when her self-obsessed attitude gets her into big trouble. Posy dances, loves dancing, and wants to do nothing else. She gets special lessons with Madame Fidolia and quickly focuses all her attention on the art of ballet. I liked Posy in the beginning of the novel, but as she became more and more selfish about her dancing, I thought her annoying. I just found out that Ballet Shoes is the first book in a series by Noel Streatfeild, and while Pauline, Petrova, and Posy are not continuing main characters, they do appear in book four (Theater Shoes). I'm hoping to read it sometime soon and see where their futures take them!

Advisory: Nothing that I can think of.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Click here to buy Ballet Shoes on Amazon!

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