Noel Streatfeild was born in Sussex in 1895 and was one of three sisters. After working in munitions factories and canteens for the armed forces when the First World War broke out, Noel followed her dream of being on stage and went to RADA where she became a professional actress.
She began writing children's books in 1931 and Ballet Shoes was published in 1936. She quickly became one of the most popular authors of her day. She was one of the first winners of the Carnegie Medal and was awarded an OBE in 1983.