95 of 96 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2001
I cannot even begin to count how many times I read this book when I was in elementary school. I must have checked it out from the library over 20 times. Finally, my mother found it in the bookstore and I could check out other books. This book was a wonderful influence on me and really did help me to grow in my understanding of the world of theatre, dance, and literature. I still think of this book when I read or see A Midsummer Night's Dream and the philosophy about acting that you should say exactly what is written because the author wrote it the way they wanted it has influence me both as a playwright and actor.
This book presents a wonderfully bright world for a child, especially one that is interested in the arts. The book also presents a very female oriented world that is not all romance novels and sweet valley high. This is one of the top books on my list to give to my niece when she's old enough. I might even read it to her myself.
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2006
I loved this book! It is the story of three orphans, Pauline, Petrova, and Posy, who are adopted by an older man who is gone during most of the book. After going through most of the money that he has left for their care until his return, the three sisters attend a special school of the arts. There they can learn to act, dance, and sing; then they can get jobs in different performances making money. Pauline falls in love with acting, Posy is a natural dancer, and poor Petrova would rather fix cars and learn to fly planes than be on stage. All the characters are wonderful and a joy to read about, the story is unique and charming. I simply didn't want it to end. The sisters are fun characters that children will love to read about. Adults will enjoy this story just as much.
58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2000
Ballet shoes -- and all of Noel Streatfield's "shoes" stories -- were by far my favorite books as a child. My copy of Ballet Shoes is nearly worn out from being read so many times. The mix of fantasy and reality is perfect -- it sparks a child's imagination of what could, just maybe, happen to her. Interestingly, the "shoes" series was given a bit of publicity in the recent flick "You've Got Mail;" perhaps one of the movie's writers was a fan of Streatfield as well? In any case, I'd recommend this book to any child . . . and any adult wishing to relive childhood through the eyes of three orphaned -- but very lucky -- British children.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2005
I LOVE this book. No other book in the entire world can ever replace it. I was 9 years old when I first read it ,and fell in love with it the second I read it. I cried at the end the first time I read it because I thought there would be no more books about Pauline, Petrova ,and Posy. When I found out there were more (The Painted Garden and Theater Shoes) I was overjoyed! So far I have only read Theater Shoes. I have re read this book 7 times! It will never get boring no matter how many times you read it. I also loved how all the girls in the story either liked acting, dancing, or airplanes. They were each so diffrent. Being a dancer (I have danced Ballet for 11 years and pointe 2 years)I could see why Posy loved doing it ,and being an actress (acted with a professional acting company for 3 years) I can see why Pauline loved acting so much. Petrova was the least understandable to me ,but to others she may feel like a twin. To the question at the end of the book, I think I'll answer Pauline.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2004
If you enjoyed Ballet Shoes, as I did, you may be interested to know that on the 1950's Noel Streatfield wrote another book called 'The Painted Garden' in which some English children have to move to America. In this story of their adventures, they meet the grown up Fossil sisters. However, to get the most from this book you should have read both Ballet Shoes and Frances Hodgson Burnett's 'The Secret Garden' first. 'The Painted Garden' is not available from Amazon in the USA, but is available from Amazon in the UK.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 1997
Pauline, Petrova, and Posy are adopted by an absent older man and brought up lovingly by his niece and her former nanny in pre-war England. The girls attend a performing arts school, and the story tells about their successes and failures both on- and offstage. As they try on ballet shoes, literally and metaphorically, the girls deal with fears, ego, talent, persistence, opportunity, competition, ambition, respect, and being poor among well-off peers. Eventually each girl finds her own right path.
Ballet Shoes was the best-loved book of my book-loving childhood, because I too was dance-crazy; because the three sisters were so different and so loyal; because so many kind adults helped them; because the "Britishisms" were so fun to read and learn; and because Noel Streatfeild's writing is good and plain, her characters are clear, and her plots are honest. Through this book, I learned that performing is work and joy; that everyone's different selves and lives deserve respect; and that independent women, and girls whose dreams are for themselves rather than Prince Charming, have good lives. This book may be especially good for poor children, for children with stars in their eyes, or for children growing up without blood relatives. Ballet Shoes helped me build an unshakable optimism, and I recommend it unreservedly.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 1999
I am a boy and thus from a boy's perspective shall judge this book. In short I thought it was superb. I loved the characters and thought the bringing together of the characters was very well done. The book truely lead me on a journey of thought and passion which I have not experienced in any other book. Although I have no wish to go in to ballet when I am older it was a real pleasure to speculate on the reactions each of the girls took. I can see why some of the children I teach are so attracted to this book and hope the author continues her fab works
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2001
As many before me have alreay stated, Streatfield's books were introduced me through my favorite movie, "You've Got Mail". When I was wandering through the library, looking for another book, I saw the name Streatfield. Having seen the movie so many times, I suddenly remembered that, in the movie, Meg Ryan loved these books. I never did find the other book, But Ballet Shoes was well worth it. I love it and I think that anyone who has children, or is young at heart, should read these books. I love them, and I hope to have the entire set soon.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2007
What I love the most about this book is that it reminds all of us, especially young girls, that being different is beautiful and special. Some of us may be actors, others dancers, etc. In the end the most important thing is to follow our hearts. This is a great book for girls today- growing up in a time when the media continues to suggest that we should all "follow the crowd".
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2000
I absolutely love this book. It has such an enjoyable plot. I think any child who has dreams of being a ballet star should read this book. It has been the best reading experience I've had in my lifetime. This book is wonderful for people of all ages. Noel Streatfeild is an excellent author, and I recommend reading all the shoe books!