Why is Eloise, 6-year-old resident of the Plaza Hotel in New York City, going to Paris? She and Nanny were summoned by a cablegram from Eloise's mother, and, as we all know, "If you are going to Paris France / you have to turn into French and absolutely go wild / and put adhesive tape on you / and fall down a lot and sklathe the window / and stretch into the curtain and..." Ahh, the deliciously mad logic of Eloise. She promptly gets on the phone to tell everyone--including room service--that she is Paris bound. There's so much to do--shots, passport pictures, packing ("Here's what else you have to take / Everything"), and of course the endless good-byes. Fortunately, "Sabena is the only airline / that will allow you to travel with a turtle" so Skipperdee comes along for the ride. At last, ils arrivent
Hilary Knight captures familiar Parisian sights in his delicately hewn pen-and-ink illustrations of everything from the Arc de Triomphe to the Seine to the Champs Élysées to outdoor cafés. Children will study every detail of each rawther extraordinaire illustration, from Weenie's snout (such as it is) peeking out from under the hotel bed to the bandy-legged, bunchy-shirted Eloise with her necklace of champagne corks. Even if children don't understand half of the quirks and language directed toward precocious grownups ("Langoustines make very good fingernails"), they'll find more than enough to delight them down to their very toes. Adults, of course, will also revel in this fascinatingly eccentric romp. And if you know anyone who loves (or will love) Paris, this book is the perfect bon voyage gift. Eloise in Paris was first published in 1957, the sequel to the original Eloise, and is every bit as wondrous. If you're in search of more Eloise (and who isn't really?), don't miss The Absolutely Essential Eloise, the original Eloise book with an additional scrapbook that tells the whole story of this impish character and her devoted creators. (Click to see a sample spread. Copyright 1957 by Kay Thompson. Reproduced with permission of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.) (Ages 5 to 105) --Karin Snelson
About the Author
(1909-1998) was a singer, dancer, vocal arranger, and coach of many MGM musicals in the 1940s.
The Eloise character grew out of the voice of a precocious six-year-old that Miss Thompson put on to amuse her friends. Collaborating with Hilary Knight on what was an immediate bestseller, Kay Thompson became a literary sensation when Eloise
was published in 1955. The book has sold more than two million copies to date. Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight created four more Eloise books, Eloise in Paris, Eloise at Christmas, Eloise in Moscow,
and Eloise Takes a Bawth.Hilary Knight,
son of artist-writers Clayton Knight and Katharine Sturges, was educated at the Art Students League, where he studied with Reginald Marsh. Besides the Eloise books, Hilary Knight has illustrated more than fifty books for children, six of which he wrote himself.
He lives and works in New York City, not far from The Plaza Hotel.