There's a particular scene in the movie "You've Got Mail" when Meg Ryan helps out a book store clerk and a customer look for Noel Streatfeild's books. When I saw that movie years ago, I immediately got curious about these classic children's books and decided that I would read them.
And like Meg Ryan's character, my favorite is Ballet Shoes. It was published in 1936, and yet it's still as entertaining as ever. Very, very wholesome fun. It provides a much needed diversion after I've been re-reading the violent The Godfather these past few days.
The other books are quite good too. I'm still looking for Tennis Shoes though. I hope they have it in bookstores soon. The Shoes series are wonderful. If I had kids, these are the books that I would read to them every night.
Oh, by the way, Noel Streatfeild is a woman.