Kay Thompson’s Eloise is a picture book.
The pictures by Hilary Knight are charming. Eloise is not.
Eloise: A Book for Precocious Grown Ups by Kay Thompson
Hilary Knight, illus.. Simon & Schuster, 1956. 1956 bestseller #5. My grade: C-.
She lives at The Plaza Hotel where the manager says she is a nuisance.
That is an understatement.
What this scraggy-haired hellion in Mary Janes doesn’t get into is not to be found at the Plaza Hotel.
She visits the Persian Room, the Boiler Room, and the Men’s Room.
She “helps” the maid and the switchboard operators, the busboys and waiters.
She’s rude, insolent, and spoiled rotten.
At 20, Eloise will look like the bored, rich girls of Valley of the Dolls.
She’s already got a good start.
Eloise’s favorite phrases are “Oh my Lord” and “Charge it, please.”
Her mother leaves Eloise with a nanny while she’s off to Europe or on a jaunt to Virginia with her lawyer.
If Eloise has a father, he doesn’t come into the story.
Eloise dislikes school, so her mother has her tutored at home.
Eloise’s mother “knows everyone” from Coco Chanel to the Dean of Andover.
Let’s hope she also knows a good bailbondsman.
In a few years, Eloise will need one.
© 2016 Linda Gorton Aragoni