i may surprise a few people with this next pick, a beloved 50+ year old chestnut. and i will say that i love the illustrations for this one. but i find our friend eloise incredibly irksome.
see, where zillions of people see spunky girl, i see spoiled brat. where zillions of people see cheeky young lady pulling pranks, i see girl who really is lacking proper supervision and guidance. where people see convenient plot device in absentee parents, i see little lady who lacks consideration for anyone else’s needs but her own — and a solid reason to call the division of youth and family services. pronto.
i really do not see anything uplifting about eloise. truly. i wish i did. like i said, i adore the illustrations, an ancestor to one of my favorite children’s books, olivia. i love a subversive heroine as much as the next girl — some of my faves include the aforementioned pig, clarice bean, junie b. jones, and beverly cleary’s ramona — some of whom i’ll discuss in my part of the month on books i love for kids. but i don’t see eloise as subversive. i see her as a sad little brat, what i imagine paris hilton would have been like if she had been abandoned in the plaza hotel with nothing but a know-nothing nanny. and i simply cannot enjoy her tales because of it.
BS hated this book so much that he banned it from the house. i’ve softened that a bit, as i don’t believe in banning books. EVER. so i told BC she is welcome to get the eloise books out of the library. but she must read them herself. i can’t wait to see her try.