This is the book about Eloise that Eloise would buy. As you may remember, Eloise is the six-year-old who lives on the top floor of The Plaze Hotel in New York City with her English Nanny, pug (Weenie), and turtle (Skipperdee). Here are some of the ways that Eloise has been characterized: "Holden Caulfield for kindergarten girls"; "a mini-Auntie Mame -- a protofeminist"; and "independent and saucy."
Contained in this volume are the original Eloise story, the Scrapbook by Marie Brenner (containing the origins of Eloise and the story, and biographies of Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight, and how readers responded to the stories as they appeared), and the three sequels (Eloise in Paris, Eloise at Christmastime, and Eloise in Moscow). Each of the four stories contains the deluxe fold-out drawings from the original books, and the Scrapbook has many wonderful photographs and drawings that will delight those who would like to know more background about Eloise and her creators.
With one exception, the material is outstanding. The story, Eloise in Moscow, is very poor in its humor and plot line. But having the story in this collection will allow you to savor those parts of the story that happen to appeal to you.
The reproduction is also superb, except for the frontispieces of the four stories. These should simply have been omitted.
I usually avoid recommending expensive editions, but this one is a good value. It contains all the best material about Eloise, and you may have trouble finding the same versions by buying the books separately. Also, this edition is likely to be a hand-me-down item from one generation to another and another. The cost per reader is probably going to be quite small as a result.
To me, the best of the four stories is still the original. Reading the Scrapbook adds a lot to my enjoyment of that story. Of the sequels, I like Eloise in Paris best. Some people will not like Eloise at Christmastime because Kay Thompson's rhymes are not the best. I can enjoy fractured verse, so I found it appealing instead.
Space does not permit me to review each of these sections in detail here, but you can read my reviews of each story elsewhere on Amazon for the individual books. I gave five star reviews to all but Eloise in Moscow, to which I gave a two star review.
After you have enjoyed this book, I suggest that you grab a partner who also loves Eloise and write a new Eloise story that brings her into the 21st century in a locale and at a time of your choice. Then find a young person to read that story to, and draw some illustrations together. That will add to your enjoyment of this book and of your love of Eloise.
This edition of Eloise has more information about Eloise and her creators than what you saw in the original book. Marie Brenner has put together a scrapbook that tells a little about the origin of Eloise as a character, brief biographies of Kay Thompson (author) and Hilary Knight (illustrator), and some photographs from their youths.
If you want a keepsake about the original for you or as gift for an adult who knows the story, this book is probably better than Eloise for your purposes. If you want the best keepsake and money is no object, I recommend that you trade up into Eloise -- The Ultimate Edition, which has this material plus the three sequels (Eloise in Paris, Eloise at Christmastime, and Eloise in Moscow). If you want a reading copy for a young person, I suggest that simply buy Eloise.
Kay Thompson's path to writing Eloise was an unexpected one. After having been a successful song arranger, she started a career as a singer with Andy Williams and his three brothers as backups. Soon, she was earning top dollar in Las Vegas. Over the years, she developed a humorous routine for use in private when she wanted to get her way that included playing Eloise. People encouraged her to turn it into a book. One friend, D.D. Dixon, had a neighbor who was an artist, and introduced Ms. Thompson to Hilary Knight. The rest is history. Her wacky, wonderful story and his scintillating art made hash out of the competititon. The book sold wonderfully, and Eloise soon became an institution.
By the way, did you know that Ms. Thompson was living for free at The Plaza while performing in the Persian Room in 1955 when she dreamed up this story for Eloise?
Space does not permit me to also review the Eloise story here. You can see what I had to say about the story on the Eloise book page on Amazon.com.
After enjoying this wonderful book, I suggest that you think about what's good about being six . . . that you can continue to do when you are older by multiples of six. Who says we have to always be mature when we are older, or childish when we are young?
A few weeks ago, I took a friend and her two 5 year old twin girls to dinner. There was a 45 minute wait, and we went to the bookstore next door. I was dreading the prospect of entertaining two 5 year olds for 45 minutes until I saw a copy of Eloise, which has been out of print for many years. I sat down and started reading to them. The time flew by. A few older women walked by and smiled. I like to think that they had read the book when they were little girls. The 45 minutes went by all too soon for me. What can I say about Eloise? We named our DOG Eloise when I was a boy. It is both literary and true to children. It is one of the books (like Charlotte's Web or Black Beauty) that stays in your heart from childhood. Give it to your children.
I first read Eloise when I was 4 and going to stay at the Plaza. I couldn't wait to be six. I couldn't wait to see the revolving doors with the P on top, or call room service and say Charge It Please. And on the day I got married, right before walking down the aisle, I told my sister (my Maid of Honor) that "There's been so much to do today, I had no time to pour a pitcher of water down the mail chute." I am thrilled to see the "new" eloise books coming onto the market, like this one and Eloise in Paris. I'm busy introducing a new generation of little girls to the importance of turtles, fires and floods in the bathtub, and skating keys. And of course, they all love the fold-out elevator...
I couldn't believe when I stepped into the store the other day and discovered "Eloise in Paris", I was thrilled and bought myself a present. "Eloise" was my most favorite book of my childhood and I am 32yr old now. This book is fun, mischevious and I wish I was more like her!!!
I love Eloise!!! Eloise in Paris is my favorite Eloise book. What's really fun are those long made up words such as "zuk zuk zhwocky zuk zuk nnnn" for their Plaza telephone. With the "charming" six year old as the star, this book is about how a rich girl spends time in Paris with Nanny, Skipperdee (Turtle), Weenie (dog), and Koki (chauffeur). It's very creative; all of Kay Thompson's books are. I read the first Eloise book to a bunch of friends in my college dorm, and I only got past four or five pages because they were all saying, "C'mon, Hilary!!! That's enough!" I also went through this phase a year or so ago where I sent E-Mails saying: "The Bell Captain Knows Who I am!" which left most of my friends perplexed. I remember the response of one friend: "That's really great, but who's the Bell Captain?" It's quite odd because books can create all sorts of situations for people. The funny words or phrases can start jokes as well. One of my friends and I thought it was weird that Eloise said that paper cups were good for talking to Mars, and we sometimes say on the phone to eachother, "have you talked to Mars yet?" From the viewpoint of a Beatnik, Eloise In Paris and all the rest of the books about her are some of the beatest kids books I've seen!
Think of this book as a combination French lesson and tour guide to Paris and Versailles, conducted by the inimitable Eloise. You've never had such fun! This book will be appealing to all of those who loved Eloise when they were chronologically young and are still young at heart. The book is a worthy sequel to the original Eloise by patterning the story as much as possible after the first book. Whether you have been to Paris or not, you will be delighted!
A cablegram comes from Eloise's mother, and Eloise practically knocks the Plaza to its knees to get it. Then Nanny has to hold it far away to read the message. Eloise's mother wants them to come to Paris to get roses in their cheeks. Eloise telephones everyone at the Plaza to let them know she is going. There are many things to do including shopping, passports, vaccinations, and packing. Pretty soon they are on their way with 37 pieces of luggage. "Everyone knew we were going, but no one cried."
Eloise, Nanny, Weenie (the pug), and Skipperdee (the turtle) fly by Sabena to Belgium (because it's the only airline that lets turtles fly with the people). From there, they take a helicopter to Paris. They are met there by Koki, the chauffeur of mother's lawyer. He takes them to the Relais Bisson, which is the only place Eloise stays in Paris. It is near the Seine so they can get the salty smell from the air. Mme. and M. Dupuis greet them.
. . . But the Realais Bisson is not the Plaza. There is no elevator. The room is small. Eloise knows that she has to get outside to have a good time. And she sure does. But at night, she manages some of her usual fun by visiting all the rooms . . . just to make a few adjustments.
Among her many exciting outside events are having a dress designed for her by M. Dior, dinner at Maxim's ("My mother knows Maxim" . . . and yes, she does charge the meal there.), and visits to every possible monument and public place. Along the way, she finds a novel use for French bread that I'll bet you never have tried. The scenes in Paris and Versailles are beautifully drawn by Hilary Knight in the original Eloise style. You'll love them.
The book could easily double as a French language lesson. Eloise explains all kinds of french nouns and adjectives that are useful to travelers in a way that makes them easy to remember.
"Oh I absolutely miss the Plaza" and then it's time to go back. This time she has 114 pieces of luggage. "J'aime beaucoup le Plaza" is her first comment upon returning.
I think a hidden blessing of this book is that it will kindle an irresistible urge to visit Paris. If you read the book to your children when they are young, you will probably have an easier time recruiting them as traveling companions for a wonderful family vacation in France.
If you already know French, you will also enjoy little jokes that are included in that language. If you do not know French, you'll still enjoy the book very much.
After you have finished enjoying this wonderful book, I suggest that you think about how you can take a trip that will cause you to change your usual life style . . . so that you learn new ways of thinking about life, as well as seeing new sights.
I read Eloise (at the Plaza) and Eloise in Paris - all 'very much' Kay. I loved that woman - a very good friend of my mom's. I worked with/for her when (as a teenager) I did her musical arrangements and orchestrations for her fabulous act with The Williams Brothers - which opened in Vegas and played all over the world. She was one of a kind (you can see her in Funny Face) brilliant musical/vocal arranger herself, world traveler, racounter, incredible lady. I've bumper into her in Rome, Paris, London, New York, LA and was terribly saddened by her death (even though she was painfully painfully thin her whole life). She was one of the great women in the history of show biz. The Eloise books are thrilling to say the least and I continually laugh every time I pick one up even after I've gone through them 100 times. I'm ordering them once again as I left mine in London and MUST have them once again. Buddy Bregman
Eliose in Paris, what a kick. But the dark side of this book is that this poor rich child is neglected by her mother and her father is never mentioned. Is he merely a dead beat dad or dead? Eliose doesn't seem to care. Perhaps her acting out with inappropriate behaviour is merely a way of expressing her anger at the neglect by her parents? Her drawing on her walls a deep cry for help? Nah! Of course that's all 90's physico-babble. This book was written in the 50's when no one thought twice about giving the care of children to hired help. Eliose of course rebells and seeks attention and even us involved parents see these antics. A quick trip to Paris will solve all your problems. There is nothing like fishing in the river, visiting museums or a picnic in the park to make one's cares go away. My girls loved it. -gary-