children on the top floor

Noel Streatfeild is best known for her “Shoe” books — my personal favorite Ballet Shoes, but also Theater Shoes, Dancing Shoes, and Skating Shoes, among others (a number of which were originally published under different titles).   But The Children on the Top Floor — now, sadly, out of print — is, in my opinion, as good of an example of Streatfeild’s story telling and keen characterization as most of her other works.  And, as a book I read and reread as a child (right along with Ballet Shoes), it holds a special place in my heart.

I picked it up last weekend out of sentimentality, and revisiting the story was like seeing old friends.  In The Children on the Top Floor, bachelor TV personality Malcolm Master ends his Christmas message with a wish to hear “Daddy, Daddy!” on Christmas morning — only to wake up Christmas day to discover four babies had been left on his doorstep.  The four are taken in to lead an odd sort of life as the country’s most famous quads, and when hard times hit (as are not uncommon in Streatfeild’s stories), they decide to take matters into their own hands.

It’s a charming story.  Though it lacks the depth and length of Ballet Shoes, it’s still a funny and touching look at the lives of children in show business  — one that, I think, is worth reading at any age.

WHO: Noel Streatfeild
WHAT: Children on the Top Floor
WHERE: Purchased from a used book store
WHEN: Many, many times, but most recently December 2009
WHY: Revisiting old friends 
HOW: Hard copy

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~ by Molly on December 14, 2009.

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