Turkey Dancing
"Turkey Dancing" painting by DJ Geribo

Ever since I saw "You've Got Mail" starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, I've wondered about the books that Meg Ryan's character talked about with such obvious emotion; Ballet Shoes, Theater Shoes, and Dancing Shoes. For some reason I never looked them up, thinking about them usually only when I was watching the movie. But after having seen the movie so many times now, I finally grabbed my IPad and looked them up while they were on my mind. She even gave the name of the author, Neil Streatfeild, which made it that much easier to find the books, if they existed, on the internet. And they did exist! They are real books and Neil Streatfeild is the author. So, I bought Ballet Shoes, Meg's favorite one, and the very first book in the series.

It is definitely dated, having been written in the 1930's. Three orphans end up in the care of a wealthy man who brings them home to be cared for by his niece, Sylvia, and a housekeeper, Nana. And then he goes off to sea in search of rare fossils. He leaves a sum of money for them to live on but when he doesn't return for years, Sylvia is concerned about feeding the three young girls. As they all grow, they are given dance lessons because now they can earn a wage from working in a variety of plays and shows.

The girls each have opportunities to learn many lessons throughout, lessons that any young girl needs to learn (of course, young boys need to learn these lessons, too, but this story is about three girls). Of the three girls, Pauline the oldest is the actress, Posy the youngest is the ballerina, and Petrova has a much different calling. But they are all lovable, even when they begin to think a little too highly of themselves (one of the lessons I mentioned).

A very sweet book that is targeted for a young girl (I dislike stereotypes as much as the next person, but like I said, it does reflect the thinking in the 30's), any little potential ballerina would enjoy this book.

I rate Ballet Shoes 4 out of 5 stars. ****

Buy Turkey Dancing by DJ Geribo

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