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Eloise at Christmastime Hardcover – October 1, 1999
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Eloise has always had a rather festive air about her, but when Christmastime rolls around, well, it's "Fa la la la fa la la la lolly ting tingledy here and there," of course. The bunchy-bloused, spindly-legged scamp is speaking in rhyme this time, and in typical Eloise fashion, the verse simply can't be perfectly metered, for what would be the point? She rushes around New York's Plaza Hotel on Christmas Eve, jingling, spreading Christmas cheer, tying tassels on the thermostats, and writing "Merry Christmas" on all the walls. And of course there are gifts to be delivered and wrapped:
For Weenie a roastbeef bone deluxe
For Skipperdee raisin milk
I'm giving the valet a beehive of course
made of safety pins and silk
Her asides, printed in red, are as priceless as ever: "Sometimes there is so much to do that/ I get sort of a headache around the sides and partially under it." Or in a rare vulnerable moment, "For when you are a child of six/ it's difficult to know/ if you deserve a present or not/ at Christmastime/ or so." But enough of that. "We sang Noel for 506/ Silent Night for 507/ We didn't sing for 509/ at the request of 511."
Hilary Knight's pen and ink pink-and-black illustrations are perfect--particularly of the "sugar plums" dancing in Eloise's head on Christmas Eve, complete with crazed elves, Nanny-as-angel, reindeer with glasses, and of course Santa's sleigh with one giant package in it... for Eloise. Kay Thompson's Eloise at Christmastime, first published in 1958 with a different cover, joins Eloise in Paris and The Absolutely Essential Eloise (with additional historical scrapbook) as a much welcomed reissue of the original. And there's always just Eloise. (Ages 5 to 105) --Karin Snelson
Gloria Vanderbilt I am engaged by the thought that Eloise will be let loose into the millennium.
Noel Coward Frankly, I adore Eloise.
Roz Chast Eloise is smart and funny and knows how to get around annoying adults.
Top customer reviews
"Eloise at Christmastime" has a very simple and fairly short storyline focusing on Eloise and Nanny's preparations for celebrating Christmas at home on top of the Plaza. In that regard, it's more similar to "Eloise Takes a Bawth" than the earlier Eloise books that were more complicated. "Eloise at Christmastime," which is not only short but is told in rhyme, might thus be a better way to introduce younger children to the "Eloise" series. Despite Eloise's unconventional lifestyle, her energetic preparations and mad dashes around the Plaza in her pre-Christmas excitement are pretty universal to all kids who can't wait for Christmas to hurry up and arrive. One nice touch is that, far from being a greedy little girl, she seems to get just as much joy out of giving presents to all of her family and friends as she does about receiving them, even though her ideas about what constitutes a good gift can be kind of weird sometimes (again, typical of childhood thinking).
As with most of the Eloise books, Hilary Knight's illustrations are the star of the production and really make this relatively simple story pop off the page. The main reason why I did not give five stars is that I understand some illustrations were removed or reduced in size to make room for new ones in the re-released edition. While getting new illustrations is a nice thing, I would prefer they not be added at the cost of getting rid of the old.
Also, I was a bit sorry Eloise's entire Christmas story took place within the Plaza (although I can certainly understand Nanny wanting to keep her there as she is enough of a handful without releasing her on the rest of Manhattan). Just think if Kay Thompson had let her heroine go out and explore the Christmas windows, the Radio City annual Christmas show, the Macy's Christmas parade, visiting Santa...but I will just have to picture those happenings in my imagination, unfortunately!
I am so happy that my nieces and nephew will be able to finally have a copy of "Eloise at Christmastime" of their very own and they will be able to pass it on to their children. Hang two-legged Christmas stockings and read this book almost every night before Christmas.