Eloise in Paris – Kay Thompson

More in the Series – Eloise
“More in the Series” scores the other books in a series where one (or more) of the books have made it into the 1001 Books list. Mostly because I’m a bit of a completionist. 

POINTS: 4 out of 10.

Bechdel: 1 point
Variety of characters: 1 point
Good story:  2 points.
Discretionary ideological points: 0 points.

The second Eloise book is a little bit much of the same but this time smattered with French phrases. What was charming about the first one is charming about this one. Eloise’s pseudo-adult language which really just sounds like she’s parroting things she hears the adults around her say, the rapid pace of the writing. It definitely has its ups. But what was annoying about the first book is annoying about this one too – I still find Eloise to be rather spoiled and the whole ‘brought up by servants’ thing somewhat problematic. In this book, Eloise’s mother invites them (Eloise and Nanny) to France, but still totally fails to make any sort of appearance in the story.

Having said that, as far as metrics go, this one does marginally better. It passes the Bechdel, assuming we consider Nanny a named character. And it has a reasonably main character who is (probably) Japanese. He is a servant (a chauffeur in this case) but since pretty much everyone in Eloise’s world is, to some degree, I’ll let that slide. Koki is a fairly well-rounded character (for a kid’s book) who shows what seems to be genuine affection for Eloise – affection which is reciprocated. And despite the illustrations being almost caricaturish, Koki is actually not that much of a stereotype, given the era the book was published. He likes, Eloise tells us, raspberry tarts and cowboy movies, and he dislikes motorcycles and bicycles. He speaks many languages and shows patience and a willingness to play with Eloise (mostly evident in the pictures). So I’m giving it this point.

The book is a little long, and I think the smatterings of French (read in my appalling French accent) knocked C out of the story a bit. But he still gave it a thumbs up, and Eloise may be a bit annoying, but she is quite fun to read.

It scored higher than I expected it to. I’m still not sold on the Eloise thing, but I think this one is a bit better than the first.

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