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
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.
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.
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.