Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Eloise in Paris

Eloise in Paris

Kay Thompson
Illustrator:   Hilary Knight 
Picture Book  Series
For ages 6 and up
Simon and Schuster, 1999   ISBN: 978-0689827044

Eloise has just got a cablegram and the news is extraordinary - she and Nanny are going to join Eloise’s mother in Paris. Needless to say Eloise gets into a state of high excitement; she tells everyone in the Plaza Hotel where she is going, and she and Nanny set about making arrangements. Boxes need to be packed (Eloise believes in taking "everything" when she travels), Eloise has to have some shots, and she and Nanny go to have their passport photos taken.

After a relatively uneventful flight across the Atlantic, Eloise’s adventures in France begin in earnest. In addition to walking around, wearing French bread on her feet, and taking lots of pictures, Eloise has the most wonderful time learning French words and commenting on the French way of life.

In this delightful book Eloise once again sets about turning the world around her upside down. Her precocious little voice practically leaps off the pages, complete with lots of exclamations, conversations, and narratives. By completely forgoing dreary punctuation, Kay Thompson helps bring Eloise’s voice to life, for she speaks just the way one would expect a six-year-old to speak. Peppered with French words and phrases, this highly entertaining and amusing picture book  will suit children of all ages.

Hilary Knight’s ebullient, action-filled illustrations catch Eloise doing very Eloise kinds of things, which includes driving the hotel staff and poor long-suffering Nanny to distraction. The hardest thing to do when reading this book is trying to keep a straight face, for it is incredibly funny and even though Eloise is naughty, naughty, naughty a lot of the time, you cannot help falling in love with her.