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(Kay Thompson's Eloise)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  21,941 ratings  ·  502 reviews
Meet Eloise, the precocious darling of the Plaza Hotel!

Eloise is a little girl who lives at The Plaza Hotel in New York. She is not yet pretty but she is already a Person.
Henry James would want to study her.
Queen Victoria would recognize her as an Equal.
The New York Jets would want to have her on their side.
Lewis Carroll would love her (once he got over the initial sho
Hardcover, 65 pages
Published April 30th 1969 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published 1955)
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4.20  · 
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 ·  21,941 ratings  ·  502 reviews

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Mar 23, 2013 rated it did not like it

This book should be titled: "How to be a spoiled little bitch."

I asked my little boy if he's like to read some books the other day, and he brought over this one, asking if I'd read it next.

I'd never read it before, which is fine with me. I like to read him new books. Too much repetition can get wearying to me.

But this book... Seriously. It pissed me off.

I've read bad children's books before. Books with bad stories. Books that were nausiating with sweetness and love. Books that were obviously
Amor Towles
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing

This summer, the Wall Street Journal asked me to pick five books I admired that were somehow reminiscent of A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW. To that end, I wrote on five works in which the action is confined to a small space, but in which the reader somehow experiences the world. Here is #5:

On the second page of Kay Thompson’s Eloise, our intrepid young heroine is seen entering New York’s Plaza Hotel (with a fitting salute to the doorman) and that is the last
Jun 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I am giving this five stars because Eloise has so much VOICE it is unbelievable and deeply touching--slightly disturbing, slightly heartbreaking; humorous then obnoxious, then endearing. (Knight's illustrations capture all of this perfectly!) I believe there are many interpretations to Eloise's story. For one, it is full of the imaginings of childhood and the delicious freedom of having an entire hotel in which to pursue one's whims. For another, it is the story of a very naughty little girl who ...more
I know that Kay Thompson's and Hilary Knight's Eloise is considered both a classic and for many seemingly a personal and nostalgic favourite (and also very much a slice of genuine New York City life, as Eloise's place of residence, the Plaza, is a bona fide Midtown Manhattan luxury hotel). And if I simply look at Eloise as a character, as a person, as a child, I do see much to cherish and to tenderly if not even glowingly appreciate (her voice, her imagination, her often delightful games and tha ...more
Jun 06, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture
Eloise is a precocious little rich girl who lives in a fancy hotel. I got suckered into reading this out loud all in one go by a girl I was baby-sitting years ago, not realizing it was quite a bit longer than the standard picture book. Perhaps I would have liked it better if I had read it as a child myself, although I don't think it would ever have been a favorite. Growing up in poverty (and with moderately strict parents) I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder about rich kids and their supposedly ...more
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, series
Ooooooooooooooo I absolutely love this book series so much!  It is written in the stream of consciousness style of a 6 year old girl talking without any  punctuation.  Eloise (the 6 year old girl)  lives in the Park Plaza Hotel and has many adventures within it.  Nanny is her mostly companion, but her turtle, Skipperdee, and dog, Weenie, join in on the fun as well.  These books contain much humor, engaging even & sometimes even more so,  the adult reading the book.  I recommend this series t ...more
Lisa Vegan
Charming and witty book about a bright, loquacious, mischievous, imaginative 6 year old girl who lives at the Plaza Hotel in New York. First in the Eloise series and a good one to read first. Really fun to read to little girls and I still enjoy it.
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
People need to calm down with the reviews of this book. Okay, so this story about a six year old isn't the most PC book on the library shelf. There is a mention of an adult having a drink and enjoying a cigar. Oh the humanity! One reviewer with clearly nothing better to do ranted on about Eloise, the "little bitch". If you don't want to 'expose' your child to the silly adventures of a pretend girl in a pretend story then carefully tuck your child away with your old Christmas decorations for safe ...more
L.H. Johnson
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book, oh this gloriously wicked and funny book, is one of my greatest pleasures. Kay Thompson was godmother to Liza (Lizaaa!) Minelli and wrote the Eloise series inspired by both the antics of Liza, and the experiences that Thompson herself had as living at the Plaza. And it is glorious.

Eloise is a furiously fabulous creation, full of stubborn humour and eccentric pleasures. And she lives. That’s such a thing for a character in a book of this nature, wrapped in long lines of text and strang
Amy C.
Oct 06, 2011 rated it did not like it
I do not like Eloise. I hesitate to say this about a young child, even a fictional one. But I found this little girl and her life at the Plaza hotel mostly depressing . . . a poor little rich girl, merely endured by most of the adults around her (and not endured at all by her parents -- dad is not mentioned at all, and mom is off jet-setting). I did finish reading it to my 6yo, but it was a trudge. Caro didn't really stay engaged either, though that may have been because of my reading, can't tel ...more
I knew of Eloise. The books and the movies. I'd seen snippets of one of the moviess. And what I saw was all right. Not something I'd want to watch all the time, that's for sure. Well, now I have read the book. And while there are many fans of Eloise in this world, I am sorry but I am not one of them. I can see why so many like her. But she's not for me. I think I could handle a typical 6-year old who has messy/bratty/spoiled tendencies, but part of me doesn't like the illustrations or how the st ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Eloise is one of my all-time favourite classic stories (the 2003 film came out on VHS the year my little brother was born so I was a big fan as a child). Comedic without vulgarity, complete with stunning illustrations, this book is great for all ages. :)
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was surprised by the things some commenters didn't like about this classic: Eloise isn't cute, she says "Oh my Lord" too much, her Nanny smokes, her situation with no parents is too sad, she is terribly spoiled. I feel most of this is sort of missing the point - Eloise is a heroic personality with a tremendously strong voice (I mean in the metaphoric English-major way, although also literally true.) And you know, the book is supposed to be funny, so you needn't take it all too seriously. To me ...more
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Peggy by: My mother
Shelves: kidlit
My mother didn't tell me until I was an adult that she liked this book--she probably thought Eloise wasn't the best role model for children (maybe she didn't want me to learn the phrase "charge it, please" too early in life. I do love room service, though.)

A fun book with wonderful, predominantly pink illustrations, made even more interesting by learning that it was inspired by Kay Thompson's goddaughter, Liza Minnelli.

P.S. I'm wondering if the "ad man" Eloise's mother knows is Don Draper. :)
Kaethe Douglas
I want to be Eloise. Yeah, I know, no one else feels that way at all.
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Readers Who Like Stories About Trouble-Making Girls
The frenetically active Eloise, once described by Maurice Sendak as a "little girl monster," made her debut in 1955 in this eponymous chronicle of her many adventures at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, where her antics kept the staff (and her nanny) on their toes. Possessed of a seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy, Eloise liked to ride up and down the elevators, make noise in the hallways, and enjoy room service with Nanny. A six-year-old with a mind of her own, and with very decided tast ...more
Stephanie ((Strazzybooks))
I first fell in love with Eloise upon discovering the Eloise at Christmastime movie when I was a teenager. It was a Christmas movie dream: Julie Andrews! New York City! A pug!

I remember sitting on the library floor the next day, reading Eloise at the Plaza for the first (and only) time. Teenage me lived for New York City, so to see this little ball of sass live out my Plaza dreams, while being delightfully annoying and charming, was endearing. I fell in love with the character as many others
Jenna | Bookmark Your Thoughts
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star
“Tomorrow I think I’ll pour a pitcher of water down the mail chute.’”

A children’s novel that’s sure to give you a good laugh, Thompson’s "Eloise" is a story about a very curious girl with a very large imagination. Eloise, who lives at The Plaza Hotel, is an imaginative young girl who takes us through a day in the life of one who lives in such a grandiose place. Mischievous and inquisitive, Eloise will make those of all ages giggle at all the shenanigans she gets herself into throughout her tale.
Patron complaint: Eloise goes to a museum in Paris and sees a painting of a naked person.

I actually agree with the patron's assertion that the book should be placed in the junior fiction, instead of in picture books--but not because there are cartoon boobs. Mostly I just think the writing is too sophisticated for younger readers. In fact, why not shelve it in the adult section, along with Junie B. Jones, because those books are also hilarious, I think.
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents with tolerance and understanding of the antics of independent kids, 8 year olds and up
My heart goes out to little Eloise, living at the Plaza, with only an old nanny to care for her and really not much to do except get into mischief. Eloise may be more a book for grown ups than it is for kids, because we know where all her weird expressions and antics come from (they come from us, the grown ups) and we get the double standards exhibited by the adults interactions with and judgement of little Eloise. In fact, I'm not sure if there is much in these books for kids, unless they're at ...more
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What do I think ? Hmmm... Realistically, I have read this sweet, beloved classic novel many times. It's popularity is not hard won.
However, please note that I'm not displacing the importance of other such classics. Did I mention the forlorn ," Velveteen Rabbit ?" Madelaine?" I'll stop and say that the draw on this book beside being geared for young francophiles is mainly projected for children who have a flair for drama to look and sound like the protagonist. Can you blame them? Its infectious
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
I never read Eloise as a child.
It was probably banned in Alvin.
Eloise is a six year old girl
who lives in the Plaza Hotel
in New York City, with a mostly
absent mom and an indulgent set
of servants to care for her.

There is something
appealing about Eloise, but there
is also something very appaling, too.
Eloise is American, living free,
unrestricted, doing everything she
wants, enjoying her life, with little
care about anything outside her world.
Am I being too judgmental here? After
all, thi
Sep 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
This book was fantastic. I do not remember reading Eloise when I was little. This particular version has a delightful story about the author, Kay Thompson. She was very well known as a dancer, singer, writer and had a show with Andy Williams and his three brothers during her career. It was fascinating to read about her and there was also a piece written by Hilary Knight (a man) who drew the pictures. His artwork is delightful. Eloise was fun to read, quite the precocious little six year old who ...more
Manik Sukoco
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a book that parents will either love or hate. I can certainly identify with the parents who gave this book 1 star. It is true that you'd be horrified if you had a child that acted like Eloise - she's naughty, rude, demanding and disrespectful. This book was written in 1955 and yes, one illustration shows the nanny smoking in front of Eloise. The text is written as a reflection of Eloise's internal dialogue, so no, it is not always grammatically correct. The text reminds me a little of Al ...more
Mar 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Adults who read to kids, also to kids
Eloise is six, she lives in the Plaza Hotel in New York City and she was the #5 bestseller on the adult fiction list in 1956. Eloise's creator, Kay Thompson, was an actress, entertainer, vocal arranger and coach for musicals, who died at 89 years of age. Hilary Knight, who drew Eloise and the illustrations for all the Eloise books is still living and drawing. I don't know of another children's picture book making the adult best seller list except for two more Eloise books in 1957 and 1958. Quite ...more
Byron Norsworthy
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
One giant run-on sentence disguised as a book. Take a deep breath before you start. Six year old Eloise, the daughter of an apparently absent socialite mother, lives at the Plaza hotel in New York City and is raised by Nanny, a frazzled Englishwoman who appears unable to keep up with Eloise's boundless energy and imagination. The book is told from Eloise's perspective and follows a typical day of mischief-making at the Plaza Hotel. Eloise rides the elevator up and down for fun, spies on the hote ...more
The version I got included a scrapbook by Marie Brenner that told more about the creation of Eloise and about her popularity and so on. I found the scrapbook fairly interesting.

Somehow, despite that this is a children's classic, I have no memory of ever reading it before. I found Eloise a little bit TOO obnoxious for my rather, she is WAY too obnoxious for my taste. I do feel bad for her since her mother is off traveling and she is left with a nanny and mostly fends for herself (altho
So, like, I realize that I needed to read this book, right? It's a classic, right? Well. Here I am pissed because I read this book already. Well this is Miss Margaux reporting that she doesn't quite care for Eloise. She's a spoiled brat who needs to learn about punctuation. I'd much prefer Madeline if we're looking at a European-style chickadee.

However. It's an easy reader-ish book with pink and black illustrations that I absolutely adore. I'd recommend this book for the illustrations alone. So
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Yes, this was a very random read. I just needed a quick break from the series I'm reading, and when I was growing up I loved watching the tv show about Eloise, so I decided to read the book. Eloise is annoying and spoiled, but she's aldo adorable and reading about her made me so nostalgic. This book doesn't even have any good morals, so I'm not sure how good it is for an actual child, but I think they would be entertained, if nothing else.
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Delightful. Of course, I would not want to work in the hotel where this child lived, but the book is charming (and I love the illustrations, which are allowed to do most of the work in the story, if you ask me). Love that there is a fold-out page of her elevator riding scheme in this edition. Next I need to read about Eloise's adventures in Paris and Moscow!
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1001 Children's B...: May 2015: Eloise 5 20 Jul 18, 2015 01:32PM  

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Kay Thompson (1909–1998) was an American author, composer, musician, actress and singer. She is best remembered as the creator of the Eloise children's books.

Other books in the series

Kay Thompson's Eloise (1 - 10 of 30 books)
  • Eloise in Paris
  • Eloise at Christmastime
  • Eloise in Moscow
  • Eloise Takes a Bawth
  • Eloise: The Ultimate Edition
  • Eloise in Hollywood
  • Eloise's Guide to Life
  • Eloise at the Wedding
  • Eloise's What I Absolutely Love Love Love
  • Eloise Visits the Zoo
“Think pink. A better way of life.” 20 likes
“I am Eloise. I am six. I live at the Plaza hotel.” 15 likes
More quotes…