Eloise is the name of a wonderful childrens' (and adults!) book by Kay Thompson, illustrated by Hilary Knight. It is the tale of a rather lonely six-year-old girl growing up in sterile splendor in the penthouse suite of the Plaza Hotel in New York City. With her only human contact the hotel staff and a fairly boring Nanny who repeats words, Eloise is bent on achieving amusement and mayhem, and succeeds. She, along with her two dolls, her turtle Skipperdee (whom she walks on a leash) and her pug Weenie cause ruckus and riot in a series of screamingly funny vignettes.

Some folk believe that this tale is based on the childhood of Liza Minelli. One thing is certain - whether pouring water down the mail chute or taking long trips on the elevators, Eloise manages to represent the side of all of us that we seem to get to exercise far too infrequently. I recommend this book highly for anyone raising children, including inner child rearers.

Oh, and a trivia point: In the lobby of the real Plaza Hotel is an enormous portrait of Eloise and her pets.

Several other Eloise books have been written:

These have been reissued by Simon & Schuster in the last year and a half, along with The Absolutely Essential Eloise, which is the original Eloise book plus a history/scrapbook of the series and of the collaboration between Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight, and Eloise's Guide to Life, a collection of excerpts from the books.

Eloise was also made into a movie at one point, but the movie was not very successful.

Some favorite Eloise lines:

"I am Eloise, I am six."
"Oooo, I absolutely adore room service."

Eloise is also the title of a 1968 smash hit by Barry Ryan, written by his twin brother Paul.

It's in the 60s melodramatic style, up-tempo, with lots of violins, drums, background aaahing and echo. If you don't know the song, think of Richard Harris's MacArthur Park, the Walker Brothers (The sun ain't gonna shine anymore), or Tom Jones.

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