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Eloise Takes a Bawth

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It's bath time for Eloise in this picture book starring everyone's favorite precocious Plaza Hotel resident.


Six-year-old Eloise loves to take a bath, which is bad news for Mr. Salomone and the elegant people gathering below in the Plaza's Grand Ball Room for the charity event of the season, a Masked Ball.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
A Los Angeles Times Book Review Best Children's Book of 2002

The Barnes & Noble Review
After 40 dry years, a new book starring the Plaza Hotel's famous resident splashes into the spotlight with text pieced together from Kay Thompson's drafts, all-new illustrations by Hilary Knight, and a huge RAH RAH RAH from fans!

Eloise is just as rambunctious as ever. When Nanny announces that Mr. Salomone is coming for tea and that "we must be clean as clean can be," Eloise makes way for the bathroom, where she reaches out to "fling on all of these faucets and handle all of these handles." But after she turns on the water and starts her "bawth," Eloise forgets all about turning off the taps and sings a sweet ode to bathing, letting her imagination run wild with pirate and mermaid fantasies. Unfortunately, though, the old Plaza begins to leak water through its cracks to the floors below, causing a few mishaps in the suite of a well-do-to guest and creating some worries for Mr. Salomone's Venetian Masked Ball setup. After Eloise gets dressed and Mr. Salomone vents his anger, the three march down to the ballroom, where, surprisingly, the "sensation of the social season" is merrily underway.

Eloise fans will thank their lucky stars for this book. Not only is it as hilarious as her previous adventures, but the creators have taken us back 40 years with that breezy, playful Eloise feeling and style. Mart Crowley has done excellent "plumbing" work, and Hilary Knight's illustrations are just as perfect as ever. It's a wonderful new visit to the Plaza, and no children's bookshelf will be complete without this little girl's memorable bath. Matt Warner

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. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This delightful addition to the "Eloise" series has finally been brought to an eager public after forty years. Nanny wants Eloise to take a bath in her hotel suite because Mr. Salomone, the hotel manager, is coming to tea. Mr. Salomone needs to take a break from the hectic preparations for the Venetian Masked Ball in the "Grawnd Ballroom." Eloise delights in turning on all the faucets of the "grawnd" bathroom, as there is nothing so refreshing as taking a "bawth." As she imagines herself sailing on the ocean, a pirate on a ship, or a little mermaid swimming under the sea, the ceiling of the "Grawnd Ballroom" slowly begins to leak. Of course, right above the "Grawnd Ballroom" is the "grawnd" bathroom. The drawings are whimsical fun, with some pages folding out to display lively panoramic scenes. The inspiration for this story was rumored to be born in Kay Thompson's brain as she soaked in a hot tub in Rome! 2002, Simon & Schuster,
— Cheryl Peterson
School Library Journal
Gr 1 Up-Irrepressible Eloise continues to confound the staff of the Plaza Hotel with her imaginative and disaster-producing adventures. Nanny informs the mischievous child that she must take a bath as Mr. Salomone, "the sweetest old manager in this sweet old world busy busy busy with the Venetian Masked Ball in the Grawnd Ballroom tonight," is taking a much-needed break and coming for tea. The resulting elaborate pre-tub rituals and an endless soak full of pirates, motorboats, water skis, etc., create major plumbing problems that saturate the hotel and flood the ballroom. However, when Eloise is hauled off by the manager to confront the mess she has made, what do they discover but a highly authentic Venetian celebration complete with floating gondolas and wet but enthusiastic revelers. Knight's witty line drawings capture Eloise's wild imaginings and capricious personality and those fascinated with the underpinnings and plumbing of a huge hotel will find the myriad details fascinating. The two double-gatefold illustrations are awesome. The text and pictures wander all over the page in perfect imitation of this cantankerous heroine. As in her previous adventures, the language is quirky and sophisticated, sometimes difficult to follow, and probably more appealing to adults. A "rawther" necessary purchase where Eloise is wildly popular.-Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Proving herself once again more Force than Child, Eloise wreaks watery havoc upon the Plaza Hotel in an episode announced nearly 40 years ago but never published. Has it been worth the wait? "For Lord's sake," need you ask? After Nanny imprudently tells her to draw her own bawth, Eloise immediately locks the door and embarks on an all-taps-full-on adventure that takes her from ocean's bottom to a battle with Caribbean pirates-and sends water pouring between floors to gush from every fixture, threatening to wash out the Grawnd Ballroom's Venetian Masked Ball. Working from his original sketches, Knight creates splawshy close-ups of the self-absorbed six-year-old bounding balletically about a variety of imagined settings, interspersed with cutaway views of lower floors peopled by soggy guests and panicked hotel staff. The pages are so brilliantly conceived that readers will need to share bawth after bawth just finding the jokes and noticing something new with each soak. When Mr. Salomone, the manager, invites Eloise to tour the destruction, a mahvelous double gatefold opens to reveal-a whirl of floating gondolas, extravagantly costumed performers, and delighted (or at least urbane) guests. Thanks to Eloise, the Ball is the social season's high-water mark. And she knows just what to do about the five-million-dollar repair bill, too: "I'd absolutely charge it." Here's the extraordinary extrovert at her very grawndest (and most destructive); rare is the reader who won't be up for repeat dives into her upper-crust, never-humdrum world.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689842887
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/22/2002
  • Series: Eloise Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 153,387
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

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 Eloise was published in 1955. The book has sold more than 2 million copies to date. Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight created four more Eloise books, Eloise in Paris, Eloise at Christmas, Eloise in Moscow, and Eloise Takes a Bawth.

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.


Kay Thompson was already a character before she created one, spur of the moment, in the late '40s. The story varies, but goes something like this: Thompson -- a nightclub performer and composer -- showed up late to a rehearsal for a show she was appearing in. Her coach said, "Who do you think you are, coming here five minutes late?" Thompson put on a voice and responded, "I am Eloise, I am six." It was the beginning of a private joke among Thompson's circle, and the beginning of a children's classic.

Urged to write a book starring Eloise, Thompson began the project in earnest while "holed up at the Plaza" with illustrator Hilary Knight. The 1955 book was, as Life called it in 1957, "rampantly popular," with accompanying merchandise including dolls, children's clothing, and a record of a song coauthored and performed by Thompson ("Who is the little girl who knows everybody's business in New York?/I spend an enormous amount of time in the lobby. I have to see what's going on there./Who's on the telephone most of the day?/I have to call room service a lot and tell them to charge it, please and thank you very much.") The premise was irresistible: A precocious six-year-old living in the Plaza Hotel, making mischief, eventually traveling to Paris and Moscow? What's not to like?

Brimming with confidence, self-importance and a general disregard for rules, Eloise had to have been a refreshing anomaly among female characters in the '50s. Thompson, as headstrong and independent as her heroine, has been called a protofeminist. The cadence of Thompson's text was also unusual. Stringing together fragments and rhymes, Thompson's "Eloisiana" gives the six-year-old a grown-up twist, combining catchphrases such as "Charge it, please" and "For Lord's sake" with made-up words ("skibble," "slomp") and Eloise's appropriation of her nanny's accent and thrice-repeated words ("We've got to get out of this tub tub tub").

After an unfortunate 1956 television adaptation of Eloise, Thompson (who appeared as herself in the Playhouse 90 show) banned any further dramatic interpretations. She also felt that the sequels had done the original book a disservice, and allowed them to go out of print, earning a reputation for being capricious and difficult. When Thompson died in 1998, the character had a revival. Thompson's sister authorized rereleases of the Eloise sequels and a special edition of the original book, which was shepherded by illustrator Knight. In 2002, Simon & Schuster released the final Thompson-Knight collaboration, Eloise Takes a Bawth.

Good To Know

Thompson got into a scrape with Donald Trump when he took over ownership of the Plaza hotel and denied her the free rrom she had enjoyed for years. According to the Eloise web site, this transgression resulted in her refusal to allow Eloise's use for any kind of Plaza marketing.

Despite Thompson's preference, another attempt will be made to bring Eloise to life: ABC has two Eloise movies in the works. Eloise is slated for May 2003, and Eloise at Christmastime follows in December 2003.

Thompson was a vocal arranger and composer who worked on several films in the '40s and '50s, including Weekend at the Waldorf, Ziegfeld Follies, and Funny Face, which she also acted in alongside Audrey Hepburn in 1957.

Thompson coached Judy Garland during her Hollywood days; according to a 1996 article in Vanity Fair, she became a close friend of Garland's who often traveled with her and children Liza and Lorna.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Catherine Louise Fink (birth name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 9, 1909
    2. Place of Birth:
      St. Louis, Missouri
    1. Date of Death:
      July 2, 1998
    2. Place of Death:
      New York, New York

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2003

    Here's what I love....Eloise! Get this book on the dub-dub-double!

    Eloise is my new hero. And 'sklathe' is my new favorite word! You can't help but get silly and sound British when you read this aloud. My 3 y/o daughter loves to say 'Bawth' and 'Nawny' (For Nanny)and order things on the dub-dub-double (playfully). The thing that is so magical about these books is the way the author captures the wild imagination of children. Especially those who get lots of unstructured play. I use these books to remind myself of what it's like to let your imagination run free! It's such a joy to read a book without a message such as 'liking yourself' (Eloise would be baffled by this QUESTION of self-love!)Eloise is just too busy admiring herself in the mirror, spying on those around her, loving everybody and elevating every mundane experience (e.g. taking a bawth)into a great adventure! This is pure entertainment. Here's what you do: buy the book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2002

    Eloise--Better Than Ever!

    My two daughters enjoy these Eloise books like crazy

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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