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ELOISE TAKES A BAWTH by Kay Thompson Kirkus Star


by Kay Thompson & illustrated by Hilary Knight

Age Range: 7 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 2002
ISBN: 0-689-84288-0
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Proving herself once again more Force than Child, Eloise wreaks watery havoc upon the Plaza Hotel in an episode announced nearly 40 years ago but never published. Has it been worth the wait? “For Lord’s sake,” need you ask? After Nanny imprudently tells her to draw her own bawth, Eloise immediately locks the door and embarks on an all-taps-full-on adventure that takes her from ocean’s bottom to a battle with Caribbean pirates—and sends water pouring between floors to gush from every fixture, threatening to wash out the Grawnd Ballroom’s Venetian Masked Ball. Working from his original sketches, Knight creates splawshy close-ups of the self-absorbed six-year-old bounding balletically about a variety of imagined settings, interspersed with cutaway views of lower floors peopled by soggy guests and panicked hotel staff. The pages are so brilliantly conceived that readers will need to share bawth after bawth just finding the jokes and noticing something new with each soak. When Mr. Salomone, the manager, invites Eloise to tour the destruction, a mahvelous double gatefold opens to reveal—a whirl of floating gondolas, extravagantly costumed performers, and delighted (or at least urbane) guests. Thanks to Eloise, the Ball is the social season’s high-water mark. And she knows just what to do about the five-million-dollar repair bill, too: “I’d absolutely charge it.” Here’s the extraordinary extrovert at her very grawndest (and most destructive); rare is the reader who won’t be up for repeat dives into her upper-crust, never-humdrum world. (Picture book. 7+)