Meet Eloise, the precocious darling of the Plaza Hotel!
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.
I get why Eloise is such a classic and beloved by so many readers–she’s funny, spunky, energetic, and silly. For some reason, though, I’ve always just found her annoying, and I think the book is too long, so it’s one I generally try to avoid reading aloud to my kids. I think I might enjoy Eloise more in (very) small doses.
Kay Thompson (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 <i>Eloise</i> 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, <i>Eloise in Paris, Eloise at Christmas, Eloise in Moscow, </i> and <i>Eloise Takes a Bawth.</i>
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.