Book: The Pink Ballet Slippers by Evelyn S. Dehkes with illustrations by Ruth Ruhman
Source: Borrowed from my aunt (the blue book on the right)
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
The Pink Ballet Slipper is a delightful little story about 10 years old Grete Holm who loves ballet so much that she dreams of becoming a ballerina. She would also love to take ballet lessons and to buy the pink ballet slippers she saw in the store window, unfortunately her mother can't afford any of that for her. After her father died during the war, Grete and her mother have had to budget appropriately and those things are just not something Mrs. Holm's can give her right now.
However, when her best friend Marie Bennett started taking ballet lessons every Saturday, Grete was able to accompanying her since Mrs. Bennett was unable to. Even though it was wonderful that Grete could sit in and watch the lessons, she would love to be a part of the class.
One part of her dream came true, Marie was unable to fit the pink ballet slippers her mother bought her after having difficulty with them after her first ballet lesson, Mrs. Bennett wanted to give the shoes to Grete. However, not wanting to take charity, Grete and her mother decided to pay Mrs. Bennett for them and it didn't hurt that the shoes were gently used making the price reduced.
After accompanying Marie to a few more lessons, the instructor Madame Dupré suggested that Grete should join that day's lesson. After realizing that Grete was unable to afford the lessons, Madame Dupré offered Grete a job to be her assistant in exchange of lessons.
Grete is simply overjoyed now that she can take ballet lessons. And as long as they don't affect her school work, Mrs. Holm's has no problem with her working for Madame Dupré and taking lessons.
Things progressed as usual for Grete in class and when a dance recital was announced the girls were all excited to see which part they would get. The recital was better than she had ever anticipated and furthered her dream of becoming a ballerina.
You know something interesting about this book although it was written in 1952, there were times in the book where Grete didn't play to the structured roles that women had back then. In one scene she had went to the grocery store and asked the owner for a job as a delivery girl but the owner only wanted to hire boys since he felt that girls couldn't do the job properly. She didn't get the job despite her strong claims that she could do the job. Grete also enjoyed playing catch with the boys but because this book was written in 1952 there is some emphasis that girls and women should love to bake.
This was a very adorable book because Grete never gives up on her dream and she is such a positive and fun character.