Over sixty years later and not a day over six, Eloise is so good at being bad, that she has earned respect, respect, respect of precocious adults everywhere. She’s the impish child in all of us.
Eloise is a self-assured child who lives in a luxurious hotel in New York, The Plaza.
She is looked after by her British nurse, Nanny, and has two beloved pets: a dog named Weenie and a turtle, Skipperdee, for whom she calls room service and orders “one roast-beef bone, one raisin and seven spoons” and insists that they “charge it please!”.
She has her own language with endless monologues, and a rawther enormous imagination. She’s the uninvited guest at all functions, a terror to mail carriers, and the unessential little helper to the entire hotel staff.
If something is amiss, Eloise usually has a hand in it.
The Eloise character grew out of the voice of a precocious six-year-old that Miss Thompson put on to amuse her friends.
Collaborating with Hilary Knight on what was an immediate bestseller, Kay Thompson became a literary sensation when Eloise was published in 1955. The book has sold more than two million copies to date.
Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight created four more Eloise books, Eloise in Paris, Eloise at Christmas, Eloise in Moscow, and Eloise Takes a Bawth.
Hilary Knight, son of artist-writers Clayton Knight and Katharine Sturges, was educated at the Art Students League, where he studied with Reginald Marsh.
Besides the Eloise books, Hilary Knight has illustrated more than fifty books for children, six of which he wrote himself.
He lives and works in New York City, not far from The Plaza Hotel.