Tuesday, 12 May 2009

White Boots

I'm delighted that White Boots has been re-issued. I'm less than thrilled with the cover, though. The loopy white writing is nice but that shade of blue sets my teeth on edge and I'm not keen on the skating silhouette. Doesn't convey anything about the story.

I've not read White Boots before and the style is unmistakeably Streatfeild. She describes poor Harriet who has been very ill as feeling 'cotton-woolish and all-overish' and you know exactly what she means. Harriet's doctor advises skating lessons to build up the strength in her legs. Harriet's family cannot afford skates so her brother takes on a paper round to earn the two shillings necessary to hire them. Unfortunately these are hideous standard issue clumpy brown skates with a green circle of paint around the top to stop them from being stolen.

At the rink, Harriet meets Lalla, a girl of her own age who has an unlimited wardrobe, a Nanny, a Governess, a wealthy aunt fostering her skating career, private skating lessons and best of all, a pair of white boots! Lalla, although wealthy, is lonely and envies Harriet's large loving family. A close friendship develops between the two girls.

That's all I've read so far, I'll let you know how I get on. Reading Noel Streatfeild and L M Montgomery and Susan Coolidge lately has made me want to resurrect my shelved MA in Children's Literature and Culture but I'm not sure I can justify the expense.


Liz said...

I'm not keen on the cover either - the skater resembles a fairy. But at least the cover's not pink or Clarice Bean-like, which makes a change.

I like Noel Streatfeild and White Boots is one of my favourites. But I do get irritated by the silly catchphrases her characters use. In this book it's "Giggerty, geggerty" or some such. It drove me nuts. Did kids ever say silly things like that? Surely not.

Vintage Reading said...

Hi Liz. Yes, that giggerty-geggerty expression does get a bit tedious. I might ask on The Fossil Cupboard forum if anyone knows its origins. Maybe a 1950's expression? I liked the re-issued Ballet Shoes cover, matte black with subtle pink shoes, shame they couldn't have done something a bit more contemporary with this.

sagadawa said...

Could you explaine what exactly meaning of Giggerty, geggerty to me? I'm Korean who reads this book now. There are some words which are really hard to understand. I couldn't find them on dictionary either. Thanks. In spite of some troubles, I like to read this book.

Vintage Reading said...

sagadawa, I'm afraid I'd not heard that expression before, either. I should imagine it is schoolgirl slang of that decade which has fallen out of use now.

minmorton said...

Personally I think 'giggerty geggerty' was made up for the book - if only because I've never read it in any other book from the same era - and it's not something my parents recognise ... this is fiction!