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Eloise Takes a Bawth Hardcover – October 22, 2002
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What's this--a new Eloise, never before seen or published? News doesn't get better than that. Kay Thompson first wrote Eloise Takes a Bawth in Italy in the 1960s with Hilary Knight and pal Mart Crowley; it has been marinating until now for a release with all-new drawings by Hilary Knight. Of course, this time Eloise is not in Moscow, not in Paris, she is simply in the bawth at home in the Plaza Hotel. With Eloise, though, nothing is simple. Perhaps especially the notion of taking a bath, where you have to "skibble into the bathroom and take off all your clothes," then strike a pose and look in the mirror, and splawsh, and sing, and bathe with turtle Skipperdee and dog Weenie. And pretend to be the "loosest cannonball in all the Caribbean" and "Little Miss Mermaid but let's keep that between us." But what's this? Could Eloise's bathtime shenanigans be causing a drip that "has begun to drop within the walls and hallowed halls of the stately old Plaza?" Drenching the elite at the Venetian Masked Ball in the Grawnd Ballroom, no less? Fabulously decadent scenes of Eloise enacting wild battles and undersea dives in the bathtub on the "tip top floor" of the Plaza contrast deliciously with the resulting swampy splendor of the ballroom. Extended fold-out cross-sections of the hotel's plumbing system and a spectacular, colorful, double gatefold illustrating the underwater ball ("the sensation of the social season" thanks to Eloise!) add drama and silliness as well. A splawsh indeed! (Ages 6 to 106) --Karin Snelson
From Publishers Weekly
Ever-irrepressible Eloise absolutely loves taking a bawth, and her devotees will absolutely love seeing her "splawsh, splawsh, splawsh" her way through a delightfully disastrous-yet ultimately propitious-time in the tub. "You have to be absolutely careful when you take a bawth in a hotel," announces the famous Plaza-dweller, who ignores her own advice and turns on all of the faucets ("Let that water gush out and slush out into that sweet old tub tub tub and fill it up to the absolutely top of its brim so that it can slip over its rim onto the floor if it wants to"). A judicious use of blue on Knight's trademark pen-and-inks traces the flow of water as it seeps from the penthouse through the floors of the Plaza Hotel into the grand ballroom, where workers feverishly prepare for the Venetian Masked Ball. Featuring two gatefold spreads, Knight's drolly detailed pictures depict the hotel's startled guests and employees as water gushes from such unexpected sources as elevator buttons and chandeliers. Oblivious Eloise, meanwhile, blissfully imagines herself driving a speedboat full throttle, water skiing and battling pirates in the Caribbean. A postscript (cleverly presented as a message in a bottle) explains that Thompson and Knight collaborated on this book 40 years ago, and it has been brought to light with the help of playwright Crowley. Since the buoyant art and humorously bubbly text surely rise to the level of its precursors, it's high time this book appeared, "for Lord's sake," as Eloise herself might say. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
Hilary Knight's illustrations are the real star of the show here. The story is good but because it's fairly short, the book would have been much more bland without the many layers of detail going on in the pictures. Knight deftly portrays both the realism of Eloise struggling with fancy old taps in her fancy old bawthroom as leaks sprout on the floors below, and the imaginative as Eloise pictures herself racing a speedboat over the water flooding her tub. Knight's portrait of the harried hotel manager worrying about the leak problem while surrounded by a passel of his equally worried staff made me laugh out loud, as he perfectly captured how such people would look (and at many grand old hotels, still DO look) in such a situation.
I won't go on and on about whether Eloise is a good role model for kids, as kids will either "get" that the story is supposed to be a fantasy or they won't, and everybody knows by now (or should know) that she is somewhere between Strewelpeter and Calvin from "Calvin and Hobbes" in terms of realism. But I did note that this story might be easier to read to a younger child because a bathtime disaster is much easier to follow and within the ken of ordinary experience than, say, Eloise jaunting around various foreign locations. I think this is a great addition for any adult or child who is already an Eloise fan as well.
If you haven't seen the DVD " Eloise at ChristmasTime with Julie Andrews" I suggest you do...it really enhances Eloise and brings her to life so when you look at these other books you will get a real flavor of Eloise!! I have purchased all five of the hardback books and have them on display ....Absolutely love the books!!