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Eloise: A Book for Precocious Grown Ups Hardcover – April 30, 1969

164 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"I am Eloise/I am six." So begins the well-loved story of Eloise, the garrulous little girl who lives at New York's Plaza Hotel. Eyebrow raised defiantly, arm propped on one jutting hip, Eloise is a study in self-confidence. Eloise's personal mandate is "Getting bored is not allowed," so she fills her days to the brim with wild adventures and self-imposed responsibilities. An average Eloise afternoon includes braiding her pet turtle's ears, ordering "one roast-beef bone, one raisin and seven spoons" from room service, and devising innovative methods of torture for her guardians.

Eloise's exploits are non-stop, and--accordingly--the text uses nary a period. Kay Thompson perfectly captures the way children speak: in endless sentences elongated with "and then ... and then ... and then... " Hilary Knight's drawings illustrate Eloise's braggadocio and amusement as well as the bewilderment of harassed hotel guests. Eloise's taunts are terrible, her imagination inimitable, her pace positively perilous. Her impertinence will delight readers of all ages. (Ages 5 and older)

From the Publisher

Eloise is a little girl who lives at The Plaza Hotel in New York. She is not yet pretty but she is already a Person. Henry James would want to study her. Queen Victoria would recognize her as an Equal. The New York Jets would want to have her on their side. Lewis Carroll would love her (once he got over the initial shock). She knows everything about The Plaza. She is interested in people when they are not boring.She has Inner Resources.If you take her home with you, you will always be glad you did.END
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

"Oh, The Places You'll Go!"
See more classic Dr. Seuss selections.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Hardcover: 68 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (April 30, 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067122350X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671223502
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.4 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By J. Hauer on April 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As we all know, Eloise is six and she lives at the Plaza Hotel with her Nanny who says things three times, her dog Weenie, her turtle Skipperdee and two dolls. When I was a child, I adored this book and wanted to be just like Eloise. She does whatever she wants and gets away with it.
As an adult, I feel so sorry for Eloise because her mother only sends for her when it's sunny and otherwise isn't present. What a poor little girl to grow up so alone!
However, this is a tremendously humorous and beautifully illustrated classic that can always make me grin from ear to ear. I looooovve room service too! Oh, and charge it please. Thank you very much.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
It is beyond me how anyone could have given this book any rating below 4 or 5 stars. Reading through some of the low rated comments I just can't help but feel that the people just didn't 'get' Eloise.
Eloise is a little girl living in a very adult world, and still she finds ways to be a child and to have a childhood.
No, she's not a role model for children, but I think they can understand that. My own children understood that they could never do the things that Eloise does, but they sure had fun thinking about what might happen if they did.
The last thing I want to say is that you have to remember these books were written in the late 1950s. After decades of politically correct, sickly sweet children's books it's easy to forget that there was a time when people wrote books for children that did not insult their intelligence.
Read Eloise... read Eloise in Paris... read all of them. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By C. Burch on June 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
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.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Lin on August 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that parents will either love or hate. I can certainly identify with the parents who gave this book 1 star. It is true that you'd be horrified if you had a child that acted like Eloise - she's naughty, rude, demanding and disrespectful. This book was written in 1955 and yes, one illustration shows the nanny smoking in front of Eloise. The text is written as a reflection of Eloise's internal dialogue, so no, it is not always grammatically correct. The text reminds me a little of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day. It is also true that the parents are nowhere to be seen in this book. Eloise has essentially been 'abandoned' by her parents and is cared for exclusively by the nanny. Her day is spent roaming around the Plaza Hotel.

Why the 5 stars then? Because this is a very funny book with extremely engaging 1950s style illustrations. Eloise endears herself to you despite her naughtiness. There are many things in this book that you could use to teach your child a moral lesson if you wished to. It is a VERY CLEVER book despite what to some might seem major drawbacks. I do agree with the other reviewers though that 4 - 8 years is a totally inappropriate age group. The dust cover of the book itself states for 7 years up which is far more on the mark. The book is more of an `early reader' for a 7 or 8 year old - it's not a bed-time story for a younger child. I can see how little girls would absolutely love it!

This is a book that you really want to borrow from the library before you buy it - what other reviewers have said is true in this case I think - don't rely on reviews - see the book for yourself.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book were a little girl name Eloise who lives with her Nanny on the top floor of the Plaza in New York. Eloise is a curious girl that always finds herself in trouble. Everyone in the Plaza knows Eloise if they want to or not! Eloise sometimes even goes off subject in the book like " My mother has a Nieman Marcus Charge Card!" If you are a little girl, pre-teen, teen or even an adult you will love this book! If you can get the ABOUSOLUTLY ESSENTIAL EDITION because this has a scrapbook in the end! If you live in New york it is very fun. As i used to ! I even read this to my 2 year old sister Natilie and my new twin sisters Audrey and Tiffany.Natty just cracks up! Well just enjoy!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
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.
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