Eloise from 6 to being 60 years old

by Liz on May 8, 2015 · Children's rare books

Kay Thompson’s Eloise

“I am Eloise. I am six.” From these six simple words, the reader is at once hurled on board a captivating and enchanting amusement park of laughter, good times, and the impish antics of one very self assured and important little girl.

For countless generations, Kay Thompson’s Eloise books have delighted, enthralled and amused children all around the world. Since Eloise first sprang to life from the pen of Thompson onto the pages of the very first Eloise book, her magnetic personality, her mischievous habits and her charming quick wit have found their way into the hearts of children of all ages.

Though it is not quite known whether the Eloise books actually are loosely based on the childhood of Liza Minnelli as they are rumored to be, Hilary Knight’s masterful illustrations impeccably bring to life the heart and soul of the six year old whirlwind of undying energy and schemes the world has come to love.

Perhaps one of the most fascinating qualities about the young Eloise is the fact that she resides at the prestigious Plaza Hotel in New York city, and charges absolutely everything on a mysterious and seemingly boundless account. Indeed, Eloise’s iconic phrase of “charge it please! Thank you very much!” has become an immovable and unalterable component of every one of the Eloise books, and certainly one that Eloise fans expect to find amongst the pages of each of Eloise’s stories.

Charge accounts aside, another endearing quality pertaining to Eloise and her comical tales is the fact that beneath all the glamour, indisputable flair and zany pizzazz that encompasses her grandiose persona, Eloise is, in fact, just an ordinary six year old girl who is deserving to express her unique individuality. As Thompson concisely describes, “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.”

While perhaps not all of us were foiling our mother’s lawyers into ingesting rubber chocolates at the age of six, many, if not most of us were feverishly trying to avoid those inevitable routine vaccinations! Eloise’s manner of doing so, and her coping tactics once her vaccines have been administered are sure to amuse any reader, regardless of his or her age.

Naturally, it would be dreadfully remiss to avoid mentioning Weenie and Skiperdee! Eloise’s beloved dog and turtle accompany her on even her most exotic of quests. What’s that? Eloise is needed in France, France, France? Without a moment to lose the three friends hop onto a plane and are France bound with Nanny.

Today, 60 years later, appreciation for the fabulous six year old also extends to the rare book market. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1955 first editions of Eloise with a dust jacket are being sold for over $1,000.

This spring, why not delve into the animated and eccentric adventures of Eloise? You’ll be “rawther” glad you did!


About the author

Partner, rare book dealer. Sekkes Consultants.

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