Sunday, June 28, 2020

Splish Splash! She Was Taking a Bath: Eliose Takes a Bawth! by Hilary Knight

"Eloise!" says Nannie. "Please don't dawdle. I want you in and out of the tub on the dub, dub, double. Mr. Salamone is coming to tea."

Nannie is full of spit and polish.

Eloise pleads that she must finish washing her turtle, but Nannie pish poshes, and tut tuts at Eloise's excuses, explaining that Mr. Salamone is on a tight schedule preparing the grand ballroom for a fabulous charity masked ball that night, and orders her to reappear posthaste, dressed impeccably, spit spot, at tea time.

But the imaginative six-year-old Eloise has a different idea of what must be involved in her bawth. She locks the door, turns on all the faucets, and proceeds to fill the bathroom to the depth of the New York Aquarium's deep sea tank. Eloise has a mah-velous time, pretending to be a mermaid, a pirate captain, a surfer, a skin diver, and a water skier, all to the delight of her dog and turtle. The water rises higher and higher, but also begins to precipitate and drip from the ceiling fixtures into the room below, where a prominent socialite and her pampered poodle are just checking in. Her luggage is floating and her doggy is dripping, while above Eloise is happily splawshing.

And even worse, Eloise's excess bawth waters are beginning to flood the Grande Ballroom below where Mr. Salamone is putting the final touches on the delicacies on the buffet and the elaborate Venetian decorations for the Masked Ball. Knowing Eloise's history, as he does, Mr. Salamone has an idea who is responsible for this Diluvian Disaster.

It took a bit of literary deep diving to bring up this unpublished Eloise adventure floating around in author Kay Thompson's and illustrator Hillar7 Knight's unpublished manuscripts, but at last Eloise is back to make waves and rule the Plaza, in Eloise Takes a Bawth (Simon and Schuster). Filled with the fabulous and detailed period drawings of Hilary Knight, Eloise surfaces again at the old Plaza Hotel, both in all their glory, to delight another generation of her fans.

As Booklist sums up the flood, "Thompson's involved rhymed text is enhanced by Knight's inventive artwork, which views the wreckage from every vantage point. Kids will adore seeing Eloise in her room and the wreckage down below, and they'll love the foldout revealing the plumbing of the Plaza. The final spread, showing the Venetian Ball, now authentic because water is flowing everywhere, is an elaborate delight, quite worthy of Eloise."

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