Bibliographic Description

Cover of US edition of Ballet Shoes, 1937.
The first US edition of Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild was illustrated by Richard Floethe  and published in New York by Random House in 1937. The focus of this site is on the first US edition, but I will include facts about other editions when relevant.

The first British edition was subtitled “A Children's Novel of the Theatrewhich was later changed to “A Story of Three Children on the Stage.” (Jordan, "Ballet Shoes") The subtitle often appears in British editions, but not in American ones.

The first edition was published in cloth, and I was unable to locate a dust jacket for the US edition.

I was able to find an image of the original British dust jacket, pictured below right.


British dust jacket, 1936.

Blank leaf, fore-title, title, contents, illustrations, text pp. 5-294, with 19 illustrations (plates) interspersed as described below.

Not edited and no dedication.



“About the Three in This Book” signed by the author, precedes the first chapter. Streatfeild writes about the girls as if they were real people


 Illustrated by Richard Floethe

There are nineteen illustrations plus one on the title page and the dust jacket. All are full page in size. They are pen or pencil and ink sketches in three colors (yellow, red, flesh colored). The Horn Book described them as “delicately colored sketches  . . . drawings that have been so well reproduced that  . . . they might almost be originals torn from the artist’s sketchbook.” (Folmsbee, 61)HoHHorn b

A list of illustrations is included on [page 4] after the contents page. The illustrations were “printed by offset by the Duenewald Printing Corporation.” (Folmsbee, 61)

Illustrations of "Posy came in with nothing on but the bathmat"
by Richard Floethe
by Ruth Gervis
Size of Cover: 20 ½ cm x 14 cm w

Physical Appearance/Typeface

Ballet Shoes was designed by Evelyn Harter. The text was “printed by letterpress by the Stratford Press” and the type used was Linotype Estienne 14/16 (Folmsbee, 61) The font size is easily readable and attractive, “of a design that composes easily and successfully with the illustrations.” (Folmsbee, 61) Text fills 15 ½ cm x 9 ½ cm of the page, with generous margins around the side and bottom. On the top of the right hand pages is the book title in the center and on the top left side is the chapter title.
 Description of Binding

Ballet Shoes was bound at the American Book Bindery and “the cloth used was Athol’s Aquavel orYH.” (Folmsbee, 61). The cloth is decorated with picture of ballet shoes, rose, and stage curtains in pink. Unfortunately I cannot read the spine as it is taped and the other first edition I located had been rebound.

Title Page Transcription



Noel Streatfeild

Illustrated by Richard Floethe

Random House  ∙ New York

Title Page Verso Transcription

Copyright, 1937, by Random House, Inc.

Printed in the United States of America

Manuscript holdings

Ruth Gervis’ original drawings for Ballet Shoes (British edition) are in the collection of Seven Stories: The Center for Children’s Books, in Newcastle, England. I have been unable to discover where the original manuscript for Ballet Shoes is today. Angela Bull, who wrote the definitive biography of Streatfeild in 1983, writes that she was given access to Streatfeild’s papers and letters by her family and publishers, but does not write of any specific collection. The Kerlan collection in Minnesota has an unidentified manuscript of Streatfeild's, according to Special Collections in Children's Literature. As Ballet Shoes is probably her best known work, I think it would be noted if it was Ballet Shoes. It is most likely that the original is still with the Streatfeild family.


Folmsbee, Beulah. "Evelyn Harter: Book Designer."  The Horn Book. Jan. 1938: 60-61. Print.

Jones, Dolores Blythe, compiled & ed. Special Collections in Children's Literature: An International Directory. 3rd ed. Chicago & London: ALA, 1995. Print.

Jordan, Harriet. Noel Streatfeild. Web. 4 April 2004. <> Sept.- Nov. 2010.

Photos on this page, with the exception of the British dust jacket, were taken by Robin L. Gibson, site creator.