Think of this book as a combination French lesson and tour guide to Paris and Versailles, conducted by the inimitable Eloise. You’ve never had such fun! This book will be appealing to all of those who loved Eloise when they were chronologically young and are still young at heart. The book is a worthy sequel to the original Eloise by patterning the story as much as possible after the first book. Whether you have been to Paris or not, you will be delighted!
A cablegram comes from Eloise’s mother, and Eloise practically knocks the Plaza to its knees to get it. Then Nanny has to hold it far away to read the message. Eloise’s mother wants them to come to Paris to get roses in their cheeks. Eloise telephones everyone at the Plaza to let them know she is going. There are many things to do including shopping, passports, vaccinations, and packing. Pretty soon they are on their way with 37 pieces of luggage. “Everyone knew we were going, but no one cried.”
Eloise, Nanny, Weenie (the pug), and Skipperdee (the turtle) fly by Sabena to Belgium (because it’s the only airline that lets turtles fly with the people). From there, they take a helicopter to Paris. They are met there by Koki, the chauffeur of mother’s lawyer. He takes them to the Relais Bisson, which is the only place Eloise stays in Paris. It is near the Seine so they can get the salty smell from the air. Mme. and M. Dupuis greet them.
. . . But the Realais Bisson is not the Plaza. There is no elevator. The room is small. Eloise knows that she has to get outside to have a good time. And she sure does. But at night, she manages some of her usual fun by visiting all the rooms . . . just to make a few adjustments.
Among her many exciting outside events are having a dress designed for her by M. Dior, dinner at Maxim’s (“My mother knows Maxim” . . . and yes, she does charge the meal there.), and visits to every possible monument and public place. Along the way, she finds a novel use for French bread that I’ll bet you never have tried. The scenes in Paris and Versailles are beautifully drawn by Hilary Knight in the original Eloise style. You’ll love them.
The book could easily double as a French language lesson. Eloise explains all kinds of french nouns and adjectives that are useful to travelers in a way that makes them easy to remember.
“Oh I absolutely miss the Plaza” and then it’s time to go back. This time she has 114 pieces of luggage. “J’aime beaucoup le Plaza” is her first comment upon returning.
I think a hidden blessing of this book is that it will kindle an irresistible urge to visit Paris. If you read the book to your children when they are young, you will probably have an easier time recruiting them as traveling companions for a wonderful family vacation in France.
If you already know French, you will also enjoy little jokes that are included in that language. If you do not know French, you’ll still enjoy the book very much.
After you have finished enjoying this wonderful book, I suggest that you think about how you can take a trip that will cause you to change your usual life style . . . so that you learn new ways of thinking about life, as well as seeing new sights.