Sunday, March 20, 2011


Eloise at Christmastime, Kay Thompson, Simon & Schuster, 1958, 45 pp

The Sunday Family Read 

 I have been putting off posting this review since it is so not Christmastime. But today we are having what is probably the last winter storm of the rainy season in southern California and it is Sunday Family Read day here at Keep the Wisdom, so we will look at my opinion of this holiday book.

 Ah, the American way. Ah, the book business. For the third year in a row, Kay Thompson made the top ten bestseller list with an Eloise book, coming in at #6 in 1958. Her first two Eloise books,  Eloise and Eloise in Paris made me use timeworn but truthful adjectives such as charming and delightful, but this time I can only say negative words like commercialism and enough already. Since she did not make the top ten again despite publishing Eloise in Moscow in 1959, perhaps Ms Thompson should have quit while she was ahead.

 In Christmastime, Eloise becomes nothing more than a most annoyingly hyperactive child. The charm and humor of the earlier books is lost in a manic flurry of Christmas cliche. Hilary Knight's drawings are still wonderful and Eloise's Christmas gift list almost saves it, but I finished the book feeling like someone had brought their ill-mannered, out of control child to my house and stayed too long.

(All of the Eloise books are available in the picture book section at Once Upon A Time Bookstore except for this one which is usually in stock only in December.)

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