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Author: Kasdan, Mallory
In this modern-day parody, a six-year-old girl named Ella charms and terrorizes the very hip city hotel where she lives.
Kirkus Reviews (11/01/14)
School Library Journal (10/01/14)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2014 Gr 1–3—This modern takeoff on Kay Thompson's Eloise (Penguin, 1956), the iconic book about an irrepressible six-year-old and her adventures at the Plaza Hotel, centers on Ella, an equally precocious young black girl who lives at the Local Hotel in Brooklyn with her male nanny (Manny). Kasdan follows her source material closely, matching Eloise's stream-of-consciousness narration and updating it with current references ("Here's some other stuff I'm into/Flossing/Meditation/Zumba/Drum circles/Mani/Pedis") and liberally injecting nods to hipster culture, such as Manny's sleeve tattoos and aspirations to own a grilled cheese food truck. Chin departs from Eloise illustrator Hilary Knight's frenetic black-and-white cartoon style, infusing Ella with color, both literally and figuratively (Kasdan's work is far more racially diverse than Thompson's), and going for a flatter, almost pop-art look to illustrate his caricaturelike cast of characters. Ella herself is straight out of The Hipster Handbook, sporting a thick belt and skirt over black leggings and an oversize necklace. As with Thompson's book (originally subtitled A Book for Precocious Grown Ups), many of the jokes will go over children's heads ("[Manny] says 'My hair is an extension of my philosophy'/I say 'My hair is an extension of my head'"). However, while Eloise balanced its sophisticated humor with its protagonist's appealingly sassy voice, this text is dominated by references to modern culture that seem more likely to entertain self-aware twenty and thirtysomethings than kids. Though this entertaining spoof makes for a fun read for those who grew up with Eloise, children are better off sticking with the original.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.