Eloise's Guide to Life: Or, How to Eat, Dress, Travel, Behave, and Stay Six Forever

Overview

If you're bored with your life and want to be more like me,
Eloise
Then buy this BOOK for Lord's sake and
CHARGE IT PLEASE

A collection of quotations from the unconventional heroine of the Eloise books by Kay Thompson.

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Overview

If you're bored with your life and want to be more like me,
Eloise
Then buy this BOOK for Lord's sake and
CHARGE IT PLEASE

A collection of quotations from the unconventional heroine of the Eloise books by Kay Thompson.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Being six years old can be a lot of fun. For Eloise there are certain instructions in life that need to be followed. She definitely has an opinion on how to dress, travel and behave. Her point of view however is not how you would expect a typical six-year-old to act, but then again Eloise is anything but typical. The illustrations are amusing, but the content is lacking. 2000, Simon & Schuster, Ages 4 to 6, $9.95. Reviewer: Sharon Tolle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689833106
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/1/2000
  • Series: Eloise Series
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 487,978
  • Age range: 3 months - 8 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 7.31 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Hilary Knight

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.

Biography

Hilary Knight's career as a children's illustrator changed forever when he was introduced to Kay Thompson, who had an idea for a book about a six-year-old girl she had made up as a sort of alter ego. Knight sent Thompson a Christmas card with a drawing; the two cloistered themselves in a room at the Plaza, and Eloise was born. Her 1955 debut was a smash.

Knight has been in the press as Eloise's de facto representative since Thompson passed on in 1998 and her titles were freed for republication. But his contribution to children's literature is vaster, and his talent for creating evocative, singular illustrations is peerless. His work on Betty MacDonald's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series in the late 1940s, for example, was another case of his creating images that became inextricable from the stories; so much so that when Maurice Sendak took over the job for one Mrs. Piggle Wiggle title (Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm, 1954), even that legendary illustrator's work seemed somehow unsatisfying. Knight had already left his imprint on the job with the flowing lines that had brought the story to life, seemingly drawn by MacDonald's words themselves.

In the MacDonald books, Knight lent his drawings of oval-faced, pixie-ish characters a certain ethereal quality, so that they often appear to be floating or vibrating. He accomplished the same conveyance of mood for the Eloise books, giving everything – especially the stringy-haired, peripatetic Eloise -- a sense of swanlike exuberance. It was with the Eloise titles that Knight had an opportunity to expand his art's relationship to a story; and the detail and scope evident in those books is often breathtaking and delightful. His work for other authors, including the The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken (for adults) and Sunday Morning by Judith Viorst, shows his versatility.

Though he has primarily been known as an illustrator for other writers, Knight has also had sole billing on a few titles of his own. The best known of these is Where's Wallace, featuring an orangutan antecedent to Waldo, and it's an excellent example of Knight's ability to create a virtual circus (or, in this case, zoo) on the page. He has also revived classics such as Cinderella, The Owl and the Pussycat, and The Twelve Days of Christmas, all of which show a softer, more textured style than in his other books. His work is always magical and alluring.

Good To Know

Eloise's visual inspiration was from a painting that Knight's mother did in the 1930s. He had plenty of encouragement: He told Barnes & Noble.com, "I started as a craftsman in my early teens -- family friends were trapped into buying jewelry, paintings, and 'objects' even before they got to the safety of our living room."

Eloise has a sort of doppelganger in Ian Falconer's irrepressible pig, Olivia. His Olivia and its sequels earned a coveted book blurb/blessing from Knight: "Eloise has met her match! We love Olivia!"

Knight's parents, Clayton Knight and Katherine Sturges, were successful illustrators also. Knight attended art school but his studies were interrupted by World War II, and he enlisted in the Navy. After almost two years of service, he began working as a magazine illustrator.

The origin of Eloise's dog Weenie, according to Knight in a 1999 Newsday article, came from one of Thompson's notes on the story that she gave to Knight before he began work on it. "I was intrigued by pugs long before Eloise. Kay gave me a piece of paper that read, 'I have a dog that looks like a cat,' and my original drawing was neither dog nor cat. It obviously wasn't right. Just about then the Duchess of Windsor began collecting pugs - at that point the Windsors were taken seriously as arbiters of fashion."

Well into his 70s, Knight says he is "still standing, with a pen in my hand." He reserves special admiration for fellow artist and renowned cariacaturist Al Hirshfeld: "[He] is my inspiration and should be to everyone. Here is a man at 100 whose work is consistently terrific."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 1, 1926
    2. Place of Birth:
      Long Island, New York
    1. Education:
      Studied at the Art Student's League and the New York School of Interior Design

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2001

    Scrapbook of Eloise's Quirks from the Four Books

    This book contains highlights of the four Eloise books (Eloise, Eloise in Paris, Eloise at Christmastime, and Eloise in Moscow), grouped into her habits about eating, dressing, travel, behavior, and staying young (six). The book is like having a brief scrapbook of these stories that capture and remind you of the essential character of Eloise. As such, this book will help you quickly drop the cares of the day . . . and it's healthier than a cocktail. On the other hand, if you haven't read all four books, I think this assemblage will lose some of its charm. Some of the examples don't make much sense if you don't have the story context for them. If you have read all four stories but don't have copies, this is the bargain basement way to have a little of each one. If you can afford to indulge, I suggest Eloise: The Ultimate Edition as a better choice. That has all four stories, plus the wonderful scrapbook material about the development of the Eloise character and biographies of Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight. Once you own that edition, you don't really need this one (unless you just want to tuck it under your pillow for comfort). Some of my favorite sections from this book include Eloise combing her hair with a fork, ordering room service, insisting on Sabena because they let turtles fly on that airline, and getting a new outfit from M. Dior in Paris. I'm sure you'll find some of your favorites, too. By the way, Eloise must have authorized this book. Kay Thompson wouldn't have . . . because it's commercial Eloise rather than essential Eloise. The wonderful Hilary Knight drawings carry the edition, even when the context seems lost. After you have finished enjoying this little souvenir, I suggest that you try boiling down your life into 20 elements of your own habits. Which 20 best capture the real you? If they don't capture you, what does that say? Hmmmm. Something to think about. Remember the best . . . from midst all of life's little eddies. Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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