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vineri, 22 februarie 2013

Review: Ballet Shoes - Noel Streatfeild

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Pauline, was rescued from a shipwreck as a baby. She longs to be an actress. Petrova, is a Russian orphan. She is happiest when playing with cars and engines. Posy was handed over with just a pair of ballet shoes to her name. If she could, she would dance all day! But one thing they DO have in common is, that with money running out at home and Great Uncle Matthew missing, the sisters want to stay together. Whatever it takes. As they prepare for a dazzling life on stage, the dreams and fears of the fossil girls are about to come true...

Gen: Literatură clasică, britanică, pentru copii
Lungime: 240 de pagini
Publicată prima dată în 1936.

Recenzia mea

vanilla-rating-4-stars

Trebuie să recunosc că filmul din 2007 cu Emma Watson în rolul Paulinei m-a făcut curioasă în legătură cu această carte. Cu toate acestea, au trecut şase ani până când m-am hotărât că îmi doresc cu adevărat să o citesc. Un alt factor important în decizia mea de a o citi a fost faptul că particip la provocarea Pre-1960's Classic Children's Books Reading Challenge lansată de Turning the Pages. Dar cum şi de ce am citit această carte nu e la fel de important ca faptul că s-a dovedit a fi grozavă!

De la prima propoziţie, m-am simţit transportată la vremea când aveam zece ani şi citeam cărţi precum „Grădina tăinuită” sau „Micuţele doamne”. Cărţile acestea vechi pentru copii au ceva aparte, iar nostalgia mi-a ţinut companie până la ultima pagină. Se pare că m-am temut degeaba că nu îmi vor mai plăcea cărţile pentru copii la vârsta asta.



Dacă alte fete ar trebui să fie una dintre noi, oare pe care ar alege-o?



Pauline e de departe personajul meu preferat, poate şi fiindcă e cea mai mare dintre cei trei copii, astfel fiind şi mai matură, un lider dacă pot să o numesc aşa. Raţională, ambiţioasă, învaţă din greşelile ei, nu e conştientă de frumuseţea ei şi e gata să-şi sacrifice banii puşi deoparte pentru a ajuta la plata datoriilor casei, a hainelor necesare şi aşa mai departe...

Totuşi, misterul romanului este Posy. Cartea are în centru evoluţia Paulinei, iar cum Petrova e de regulă în aceleaşi piese de teatru ca Pauline, nu o „vedem” prea mult pe Posy. Antrenamentul ei cu Madame Fidolia e de asemenea un secret, aşa că putem doar ghici ce fel de mişcări de balet este învăţată.

Cartea este mai mult despre felul în care aceste trei fete cresc, echilibrând studiul cu antrenamentul pentru carierele lor şi lucrul ca artişti pe scenă. Este, aşadar, mai lentă şi descriptivă, dar nu îi lipsesc momentele amuzante. De exemplu, când Gum (de la Great Uncle Matthew) i-o aduce pe orfana Pauline nepoate lui de şaisprezece ani, Sylvia, care ezită să o ia în grijă, spune:



Credeam că tuturor femeilor le plac copii!



Posy e un „mic monstru” care îşi bate joc de comportamentul tuturor, imitându-i într-un mod hilar, un „talent” al ei cel mai vizibil în cea de-a doua jumătate a cărţii.

Recomand „Ballet Shoes” copiilor de toate vârstele, dar şi adulţilor care doresc să-şi amintească de copilărie.
semnatura



Pauline, was rescued from a shipwreck as a baby. She longs to be an actress. Petrova, is a Russian orphan. She is happiest when playing with cars and engines. Posy was handed over with just a pair of ballet shoes to her name. If she could, she would dance all day! But one thing they DO have in common is, that with money running out at home and Great Uncle Matthew missing, the sisters want to stay together. Whatever it takes. As they prepare for a dazzling life on stage, the dreams and fears of the fossil girls are about to come true...

Genre: Children Classics, British Literature
Length: 240 pages
First published in 1936.

My Review

vanilla-rating-4-stars

 

I must admit that what first got me interested in this book was seeing the movie with Emma Watson as Pauline in 2007. However, six years have passed until I actually decided: I want to read this book. Another important factor in my decision to read it was also the Pre-1960's Classic Children's Books Reading Challenge hosted by Turning the Pages I am participating in this year. But how and why I read this book is not as important as how great it turned out to be!

From the first sentence, I felt transported to the time I was ten and reading books like "The Secret Garden" or "Little Women". There is a certain feel these old children's books have and nostalgia accompanied me until the last page. It seems that my fear of not liking children's books at my age was unfounded.


If other girls had to be one of us, which would they choose?



Pauline was by far my favourite character, perhaps because she was the oldest of the three children, and thus more mature, a leader if I can call her like that. Rational, ambitious, learning from her past mistakes, unaware of her beauty and ready to sacrifice her savings to help paying the bills, the much needed clothes and so on...

However, the mystery of this novel is Posy. The book mostly follows Pauline's evolution, and as Petrova is usually in the same theatrical pieces as Pauline is, we don't get to "see" much of Posy. Her training with Madame Fidolia is kept under secret too, so we can only guess what kind of ballet moves she is taught.

The book is mostly about how these three girls are growing up, balancing studying, training for their careers and actually working as performers on stage. It is, consequently, slow-paced and descriptive, however it doesn't lack in humorous moments. For instance, when Gum (Great Uncle Matthew) brings the orphan Pauline to her 16 year-old niece, Sylvia, who is reluctant in taking her, he says:


I thought all women like children!


Posy is also a "little monster" who mocks everyone's behaviour by imitating them in a hilarious way, a "talent" of her most visibile in the second half of the book.

I recommend "Ballet Shoes" to children of all ages, and to adults who want to remember their childhood.

semnatura

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