Wednesday, February 3, 2016

LS 5603 20 Review: Eloise by Kay Thompson

by Kay Thompson

Title: Eloise
Author: Kay Thompson
Illustrator: Hilary Knight
Genre: Picture Book
Publishing Information: New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 1969
Copyright Renewed: 1983
ISBN: 9780671223502

Thompson, Kay. Eloise. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1969. ISBN 9780671223502

Plot Summary:
Eloise is a book about a six year old girl who lives in The Plaza Hotel with a nanny of whom she loves, but also causes an extreme amount of mischief for. Eloise has nothing but time on her hands, and she uses said time to be very active and "helpful" around the hotel. All of the hotel staff know her, and do not seem nearly as thrilled about her help as Eloise is herself. Eloise is at a stage where she seems to be finding herself and determining what things she enjoys, and everything to her is a lot of work. While Eloise can be a bit of a trouble maker, she also has a knack for seeing details that others may ignore; like the design on the front doors, her maze of fun on the elevators, the way Nanny speaks and repeats certain words, and the size of the coat rack in her room. Despite being six years of age, Eloise believes herself to be older and wiser than that, which really only adds to her desire to help out the other adults. The entirety of the book takes place throughout only one day of Eloise's life, proving her point that she lives an incredibly busy life at the hotel.

Critical Analysis: Eloise by Kay Thompson is an enjoyable, enthusiastic take on a picture storybook for children and adults alike. While I tend to not read many children's books myself, thinking I am a bit too old for them, this is a book that I was able to enjoy immensely. Eloise is a lovable, mischievous child, and throughout the book it is exciting to see what kind of trouble she may get into next. We are able to follow through the day in the life of her as she moves about The Plaza Hotel, and the details provided are incredible. She has many things worked out, from how to be incredibly obnoxious on the elevator (without realizing it), climbing to the circle shelves in the banquet room, and attending weddings of guests that she does not know. Her antics keep the book upbeat and enjoyable, and it was certainly a page turner. 

The illustrations throughout the book are very detailed and incredibly amusing. Eloise is described as bring "not yet pretty but already a Person," and the drawings help to support this idea, as the little girl in the drawings is not 'perfect' like we tend to see in some illustrations. The thing that I enjoyed the most about the illustrations was that they were mostly in black and white, with only pops of pinks in different shades to draw contrast and bring attention to things. The words were arranged differently on each page, which made the layouts interesting to look at. The drawings go wonderfully with the text, adding amusement to every page.

Review Excerpts: 

Top 100 Picture Books #76 by School Library Journal

From School Library Journal: "one of the most iconic six-year-olds in children’s literature."

From Publisher's Weekly: "In the history of book properties, brands and licensing, Kay Thompson's Eloise, first published in 1955, stands as a prototype for success."


Other/similar books that readers may enjoy:
  • Angelina Ballerina series by Katharine Holabird 
  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Other books in the Eloise series 

Students could use this book to focus on:
  • Vocabulary - there are some words that my middle school students would not know the definitions to, so they could use context clues to determine them 
  • Different types of writing for English class - understanding that grammar rules do not always have to be followed for creative uniqueness 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Imagination Designs