Eloise … and Kay!

November 22, 2011

Ahhhh Eloise. Who doesn’t love this little scamp?  She’s precocious, chatty, and cheeky, lives in New York City’s Plaza Hotel, torments her Nanny and the hotel staff, has a pet turtle named Skipperdee (he eats raisins she’s ordered from room service) and a pug called Weenie. She’s a busy one for all of six years old and she’s a favourite of several generations of storybook readers for sure. I couldn’t even begin to do justice to all of the reincarnations of Eloise out there so instead I offer this link to her home page where you’ll read about her various stories and the background. Meanwhile for present-day activities at The Plaza Hotel be certain to take a peek here.

Eloise was first published in 1955 and is a product of the imagination of one Kay Thompson – a musical performer, renowned vocal arranger for the likes of Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra, actress famed for her appearance with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire in Funny Face and a generally quirky character herself. She collaborated with illustrator Hilary Knight who was perfectly skilled in bringing to life the words of Kay in the form of our beloved Eloise. It seems obvious that Eloise was just a smaller version of the real-life Kay though rumours swirl that her God-daughter Liza Minnelli was the inspiration. To straighten out this story and learn more about the lively Kay Thompson I’m delighted to report we can turn to the pages of a newly released biography by Sam Irvin.


June 23, 2011

I enjoyed a conversation with a friend yesterday about summer reading and we decided that a Biography or two should be on the list. These are a few new releases that captured my attention. Any great biographies you’d like to recommend?

Wonder Girl: The Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias by Don Van Natta Jr.

My Faraway One – Selected Letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz: Volume One, 1915-1933 edited by Sarah Greenough

No Regrets – The Story of Edith Piaf by Carolyn Burke

A Romance on Three Legs – Glenn Gould’s Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano by Katie Hafner

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