This is my favorite of the Shoes books, probably because I read it over and over when I was a kid. While reading this copy, however, I was somewhat dismayed to realize that the copy I had was either edited down to make it shorter, or to make it more comprehensible to 1980s American children. Meaning I read an abridged version—the horror! It was both nice to read all the missing parts and very odd, because the book seemed clunkier and like it dragged more with all the extraneous detail added.

Anyway, I'm giving it five stars anyway because it is a fantastic description of Blitz-era London from a child's point of view (that, and nostalgia. And it's charming). My mother grew up in the UK post WW2 and this book really made me realize what an affect rationing, coupons, blackouts, and the like had on the population. I love love love all the theatrical details and the competitive nature of the relationship between Miranda and Sorrel, and I like all the secondary and tertiary characters a great deal. Upon re-reading, though, I think the grandmother should have been ashamed of how her grandchildren were treated, and I wish the aunts and uncles had taken slightly more interest in their welfare.