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Ella
     

Ella

5.0 1
by Mallory Kasdan
 

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A clever parody about a little girl living in a hipster hotel.

This is ELLA. She is six years old. She lives at the Local Hotel. She has a nanny called Manny. He has tattoos for sleeves and he might go in with some guys to buy a grilled cheese truck. Sometimes Ella weaves purses out of Ziploc bags and reclaimed twine. (She is artsy of course.) She has a

Overview

A clever parody about a little girl living in a hipster hotel.

This is ELLA. She is six years old. She lives at the Local Hotel. She has a nanny called Manny. He has tattoos for sleeves and he might go in with some guys to buy a grilled cheese truck. Sometimes Ella weaves purses out of Ziploc bags and reclaimed twine. (She is artsy of course.) She has a dog named Stacie and a fish named Rasta and a scooter which is important for getting everywhere she needs to be. Altogether she has been to 62 events including that Hillary Clinton fundraiser. She is NEVER bored. If Ella and Kay Thompson’s Eloise got together for a play date, they would have a very good time indeed.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/20/2014
What if Eloise was a hipster-in-training and lived in a chicly gritty boutique hotel, instead of the venerable Plaza? While some of Ella’s unrepentant mischief directly descends from her forebear (“I have to go through the halls and collect ‘Privacy Please!’ signs from the doorknobs”), she’s a full-fledged child of this century, with her Wi-Fi demands and endearing male nanny, who has “tattoos for sleeves” and “might go in with some guys to buy a grilled cheese truck.” Debut author Kasdan name checks urban standbys from edamame to Zumba, while fellow first-timer Chin’s funny full-color vignettes of a multicultural downtown scene and a heedlessly energetic child are loving tributes to Hilary Knight’s originals. But does it work as a children’s book? Eloise did because the line between adults and children couldn’t have been clearer, and WASP-y social mores were ripe for pint-size insurrection. Ella, however, is surrounded by grownups who are running as fast as they can from staid maturity. When everyone is in touch with his or her inner child, the one real kid becomes just another face in the crowd. Ages 5–up. Author’s agent: Rebecca Gradinger, Fletcher & Company. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Ella

"A twist on the classic Eloise, Ella's hipster-chic hotel adventures are full of modern-day trappings—from Manny, her sleve-tatted male nanny, to Zumba classes and Wi-Fi issues. The playful illustrations, drawn by Marcos Chim, will have you checking in again and again."—Entertainment Weekly

"What would Eloise at the Plaza do in modern-day New York? Try yoga, join drum circles and visit food trucks. For more on the 60-year-old kiddie icon's hipster makeover, check out Ella."—TIME Magazine

"Captures our current cultural moment."—Los Angeles Times

“There’s a new room-service baby in town.”—New York Post
 
“A sort of Eloise for the hipster generation, Ella is full of cheeky references to the millennial set… Its charming illustrations by Marcos Chin, accompanied by Kasdan’s clever captions, also make it a fun read for kids and their parents.”—Vogue.com

"If you’re an Eloise fan, you must take a peek at this parody. . . . Share it with your favorite hip parents. Keep it for yourself. Whatever you do, just get it."—Bustle

"An entertaining spoof."—School Library Journal

"Ella's mischief and cadence (and Kasdan's minimal punctuation) ring thrillingly familiar. . . . Her self-descriptions are hilarious; the text winks with merry self-awareness. . . . For hipsters of all ages."—Kirkus Reviews

"Kasdan name checks urban standbys from edamame to Zumba, while fellow first-timer Chin’s funny full-color vignettes of a multicultural downtown scene and a heedlessly energetic child are loving tributes to Hilary Knight’s originals."—Publishers Weekly

“Ella is a superb sendup, with pacing and a narrative that nicely mirrors the classic Eloise, while adding up to a very funny look at modern-day urban childhood all on its own. This one’s a keeper.”—CoolMomPicks.com
 
“Illustrator Marcos Chin did a beautiful job creating [Ella’s] world.”—Gothamist 
 
“Ella is adorable and her book might be worth buying just for the illustrations alone, because they are absolutely gorgeous.”—Mommyish.com

“A witty and wonderful parody…These delightful bits of hipster detritus are there for the adult companion reader but won’t diminish a child’s enjoyment whatsoever…The illustrations by Marcos Chin are gorgeous and, much like Hilary Knight’s beloved art for Eloise, are layered with humor, enriching the text with a ton of memorable detail.”—Café.com 

Kirkus Reviews
2014-10-22
An iconic picture book gets rebooted.Even before the opening—"I am Ella / I am six // I am an urban child / I live at The Local Hotel"—savvy readers will recognize the cover design of a girl writing her name in red lipstick on a huge mirror. Ella has brown skin, a bubble skirt and less of a glint in her eye than Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight's Eloise, but she takes similarly rambunctious ownership of her funky, contemporary home-hotel. Ella's mischief and cadence (and Kasdan's minimal punctuation) ring thrillingly familiar: "If there are a lot of wheelie suitcases trying / to get in the elevator and these people are all in a band / with a bunch of groupies and publicists / and bloggers or something I wedge myself right in / the middle of it and drop my MetroCard." The tattooed, male nanny "might go in with some guys to buy a grilled cheese truck"; elsewhere Ella reports, "Sometimes I put edamame / in my nostrils." Her self-descriptions are hilarious; the text winks with merry self-awareness. However, Chin's color-focused art is flat and unfortunately earnest, lacking visual humor. This newbie mischief-maker can't approach the original, but that's fine—it's not parody, correction or competition; it's homage. Both books together make a very cool gift. For hipsters of all ages. (Picture book. 6-adult)
School Library Journal
10/01/2014
Gr 1–3—This modern takeoff on Kay Thompson's Eloise (Penguin, 1956), the iconic book about an irrepressible six-year-old and her adventures at the Plaza Hotel, centers on Ella, an equally precocious young black girl who lives at the Local Hotel in Brooklyn with her male nanny (Manny). Kasdan follows her source material closely, matching Eloise's stream-of-consciousness narration and updating it with current references ("Here's some other stuff I'm into/Flossing/Meditation/Zumba/Drum circles/Mani/Pedis") and liberally injecting nods to hipster culture, such as Manny's sleeve tattoos and aspirations to own a grilled cheese food truck. Chin departs from Eloise illustrator Hilary Knight's frenetic black-and-white cartoon style, infusing Ella with color, both literally and figuratively (Kasdan's work is far more racially diverse than Thompson's), and going for a flatter, almost pop-art look to illustrate his caricaturelike cast of characters. Ella herself is straight out of The Hipster Handbook, sporting a thick belt and skirt over black leggings and an oversize necklace. As with Thompson's book (originally subtitled A Book for Precocious Grown Ups), many of the jokes will go over children's heads ("[Manny] says 'My hair is an extension of my philosophy'/I say 'My hair is an extension of my head'"). However, while Eloise balanced its sophisticated humor with its protagonist's appealingly sassy voice, this text is dominated by references to modern culture that seem more likely to entertain self-aware twenty and thirtysomethings than kids. Though this entertaining spoof makes for a fun read for those who grew up with Eloise, children are better off sticking with the original.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670016754
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
01/22/2015
Pages:
56
Sales rank:
573,955
Product dimensions:
8.25(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.46(d)
Lexile:
AD730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for Ella:

"An entertaining spoof."--School Library Journal

"Ella's mischief and cadence (and Kasdan's minimal punctuation) ring thrillingly familiar. . . . Her self-descriptions are hilarious; the text winks with merry self-awareness. . . . For hipsters of all ages."--Kirkus Reviews

"Kasdan name checks urban standbys from edamame to Zumba, while fellow first-timer Chin’s funny full-color vignettes of a multicultural downtown scene and a heedlessly energetic child are loving tributes to Hilary Knight’s originals."--Publishers Weekly

"If you’re an Eloise fan, you must take a peek at this parody. . . . Share it with your favorite hip parents. Keep it for yourself. Whatever you do, just get it."--Bustle

Meet the Author

Mallory Kasdan is a writer and voice actor. She writes about parenting and pop culture, and does voiceovers for television and radio. ELLA is her first book.  Mallory lives in Brooklyn with her family—unfortunately NOT in a hotel. Read her essays and listen to her voice work at www.mallorykasdan.com.
 
Marcos Chin is an illustrator living in Brooklyn. His drawings have appeared in magazines, book covers, and advertisements in the USA and around the world. Whenever possible he tries to sneak his two dogs, Shalby and Rita, into his drawings. Marcos teaches illustration at the School of Visual Arts, in New York. Visit him at marcoschin.com.

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Ella 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Yvonne_M More than 1 year ago
Ella By: Mallory Kasdan A modern day look at life in an urban hotel told from a six-year olds point of view that obviously has a famous and wealthy mother. Students will love the endless contemporary references. This multi-cultural picture has so many classroom possibilities: Reading • Comparing/contrasting to Eloise. • Character development and inferring character traits. • Comparing/contrasting Ella’s life to our own life. • Although Ella seems happy with her life…what does she really want and thinking about the clues Mallory Kasdan leaves for the reader. Writing • Generating small moment ideas. The book is filled with so many ideas for students of all ages to relate to. • Ella has important people in her life that many students would not consider to be their “go to” adults. Who are our students “go to” adults and why? The adults may be different but the reasons are probably similar. • What are the positives/negatives of having a famous parent? • Explain the meaning of Manny’s quote, “We are everything and nothing too.” Ella is sure to capture students’ attention because it is so “hip” in the written language: iPad, caller ID, Wi-Fi, Bono, Zumba, texting, chillax, but also with the illustrations: skinny jeans, dachshunds, scooters, skirts/leggings just to name a few.