Eloise (books)

Eloise is a series of children's books written in the 1950s by Kay Thompson (1909–1998) and illustrated by Hilary Knight (b. 1926). Thompson and Knight followed up Eloise (1955) with four sequels.

Eloise Logo.svg
Logo for the Eloise series of books
AuthorKay Thompson
IllustratorHilary Knight
CountryUnited States
PublisherSimon & Schuster
Publication date

Eloise is a young girl who lives in the "room on the tippy-top floor" of the Plaza Hotel in New York City with her nanny, her pug dog, Weenie, and her turtle, Skipperdee.


The character was developed by the author based on her childhood imaginary friend and alter ego, with a voice in which Thompson spoke throughout her life, according to her biographer, filmmaker Sam Irvin.[1] Thompson's goddaughter, Liza Minnelli, was often speculated as a possible model for Eloise.[2]

The illustrator stated that the image for Eloise was based on one that his mother, Katherine Sturges Dodge, had painted, during the 1930s.[3]




Other modern Eloise titles released by Simon & Schuster include Eloise's Guide to Life (2000), Eloise at Christmas (2003), Eloise's What I Absolutely Love Love Love (2005) and Love & Kisses, Eloise (2005). The same publisher began producing Eloise stories "in the style of Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight" to their early-reader Ready-to-Reads line in 2005.[5] By 2007, 11 titles had been released in that line.

Thompson's time on the set of the 1957 musical film Funny Face inspired a new Eloise cartoon—Eloise in Hollywood (2006).[6]

Bernadette Peters narrates a collection of four Eloise stories—"Eloise", "Eloise in Paris", "Eloise at Christmastime", and "Eloise in Moscow", released by Simon & Schuster Audio in October 2015. They are available in audiobook and CD and book.[7]

Dramatic adaptationsEdit

In 2003, two made-for-TV movies based on the first two books were made by Walt Disney Television, titled Eloise at the Plaza and Eloise at Christmastime, starring Sofia Vassilieva as Eloise and Julie Andrews as Nanny. In 2006, an animated television series based on the characters of the books, premiered on Starz! Kids & Family, featuring Mary Matilyn Mouser as Eloise and Lynn Redgrave as Nanny.

A direct-to-DVD animated feature entitled Eloise in Africa was announced in February 2009 but was never finished. It would have been made entirely at Animation Collective’s New York City facility.[8] In 2011, an animatic from the film was uploaded onto Vimeo.[9]

A movie based on Eloise in Paris, starring Jordana Beatty as the title character and Uma Thurman as Nanny,[10] was being developed by Charles Shyer, director of Alfie and Father of the Bride but little, if any, development on the film has been announced, and it was reported in 2010 that Thurman filed and subsequently settled a lawsuit against Handmade Films for £6m after production stalled and the company failed to meet her initial pay-or-play fee. [11]




A portrait of Eloise was hung in the lobby of the Plaza until it closed for renovations in 2005. The portrait was re-hung in May 2008 after three years in storage.[12]

Filmmaker Lena Dunham sports an Eloise tattoo and produced the HBO documentary short, It's Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise, chronicling the life and career of series co-author and illustrator Hilary Knight.[13][14][15]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Eloise At 55: The Legacy Of Kay Thompson". December 10, 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  2. ^ Amy Benfer (1999-06-01). "Will the real Eloise please stand up?". Salon. Archived from the original on 2006-09-10.
  3. ^ Barnes & Noble: Meet the Writers series Archived 2015-04-14 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 9 April 2015
  4. ^ Won Tesoriero, Heather (2002-02-09), "Welcome Back, Eloise", Time, archived from the original on December 27, 2007
  5. ^ "SimonSays's On Demand Pages on Vimeo". www.simonsays.com.
  6. ^ Minzesheimer, Bob (2006-10-23), "Oh, my Lord! Eloise leaves Plaza for Hollywood", USA TODAY
  7. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Bernadette Peters Narrates New Collection of 'Eloise' Stories, Arriving Today"[permanent dead link] Playbill, October 27, 2015
  8. ^ "Eloise in Africa Feature Coming to DVD - Animation Magazine". www.animationmagazine.net.
  9. ^ "Storyboards excerpt for Eloise in Africa". Vimeo.
  10. ^ "Uma Thurman and Jordana Beatty". Archived from the original on 2009-03-25. Retrieved 2008-05-01.
  11. ^ "Uma Thurman Settles £6M 'Eloise' Lawsuit". www.deadline.com.
  12. ^ Jennifer Lee (14 May 2008). "Eloise is Back at the Plaza, M'Dear". New York City. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  13. ^ Stanley, Allesandra (22 March 2015). "Review: 'It's Me, Hilary' Documentary Spotlights Eloise's Illustrator". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  14. ^ Lewis, Hilary (23 March 2015). "'Eloise' Doc Director, Star Hilary Knight Reveal How Lena Dunham Ended Up Appearing in the Film". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  15. ^ Chi, Paul (16 March 2015). "Lena Dunham Explains Why She Has an Eloise Tattoo". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 23 May 2015.

External linksEdit