Eloise Rises

Eloise with Weenie and Skipperdee (on the chair).

We learn via NPR that Eloise is making an appearance at the New York Historical Society. She is the far more intelligent and powerful version of Dens the Menace who comes with pets and a penthouse at the Plaza hotel in New York City.

Here’s what I wrote in 2009 after reading a review of a book describing Kay Thompson’s “long bossy, punishingly fabulous text.”

When I first discovered her, she had been on the scene for some years, but she will always be six and she will always live at the Plaza Hotel, except for side trips to Paris and Moscow. She has a nanny, but her parents lurk in the periphery. Her mother “sends for her.” Eloise is self-sufficient, and her aim in life is to avoid boredom. Boy, does she. She slides down the banisters at the Plaza and keeps the help and the guests on edge. Most of Hilary Knight’s drawings capture frazzled bellhops and doormen with dog Weenie in tow – or carrying pet turtle Skipperdee (as I recall he usually traveled via bird cage). My favorite episode: Eloise was in Paris, and Skipperdee became ill. (How did anyone know?) Anyway, Eloise shipped Skipperdee home by diplomatic pouch. Now that’s power.

NPR now adds tantalizing details about Eloise and her creator: Thompson hated children and may have stolen a Knight painting that had hung at the Plaza. How Eloise.

May her reign, er, residence at the historical society be without incident.

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