Noel Streatfeild Louise S. Bechtel - Essay

Louise S. Bechtel

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

From many angles ["Movie Shoes"] is the best of the popular "shoes" books for "middle age" young American readers. Here the very, very English point of view takes a big, honest bump on the shores of this country. The author does not minimize the shock to her English family, and the many little differences; the way she shows them, through the eyes of this gay and intelligent family, is excellent. Also, one cannot commend too highly her Hollywood portrait, chiefly of the lives of child movie actors….

Jane, who does not wear any shoes except her normal ones, is one of the most continuously horrid heroines ever invented…. Children will believe in poor Jane, be glad that her sufferings do not reform her too much, and welcome her one saving grace—her ambition to be an animal trainer. They will enjoy all the adult characters too….

In spite of the fantastic luck which attends the varied talents of the Winter Family, the underlying point of "earn it yourself" is shown to be what drives them on: that, plus such determined dreams as most youngsters have, but seldom carry through the hard road of practice. A jolly book.

Louise S. Bechtel, "Books for Young People: 'Movie Shoes'," in New York Herald Tribune Weekly Book Review, April 17, 1949, p. 8.