In Mallory Kasdan and Marcos Chin's 'ELLA', 'Eloise' Gets a Hipster Makeover, and It Is Everything We Never Knew We Needed — EXCLUSIVE ART REVEAL
"I am six. I am an urban child. I live at The Local Hotel."
Wait — is that not how Eloise starts? My mistake. That's ELLA , its hipster cousin. If you thought you knew the story of beloved Eloise, wait until January 22, 2015 to meet ELLA. She lives in Brooklyn's Local Hotel (where the bellhops wear skinny jeans, thanks), knows her yoga poses, and has an Etsy shop.
I don't have to tell you how treasured Eloise is. During visits to New York, people make it a point to get a glimpse of Eloise's residence, the Plaza Hotel, to bring to life Kay Thompson's children's book. But is Eloise timeless? Well, maybe not.
"I was celebrating my birthday at this groovy hotel in Brooklyn a few years ago, picturing my daughter, who was six at the time, riding her scooter wildly through the non-kid friendly, rooftop bar, which was perfectly 'curated' just so," says Mallory Kasdan, ELLA's author. "I realized that if Eloise from the Plaza was living in 2014 that she would absolutely be living in a hip hotel like that one, in this trendy borough, bossing people around and having appropriately modern adventures with characters I recognized from the neighborhood."
If you're an Eloise fan, you must take a peek at this parody — and that's why we have the cover for you to take a look at, plus two exclusive preview spreads below. "People who love Eloise really love Eloise, and those that know it intimately will laugh at the updated references and the gentle fun poked at this urban, artisanal, very style conscious culture," says Kasdan.
Come see for yourself, with the cover and two of my favorite spreads from ELLA (click to zoom):
The rest of the book is that fun, too. Here's what illustrator Marcos Chin had to say about the project:
When I received the call from Viking Press to ask if I was interested in illustrating ELLA, I was excited (or course!) but I also felt nervous about the challenge of creating illustrations that paid homage to Hillary Knight's genius drawings of Eloise, while keeping them fresh and new at the same time. However, what ultimately convinced me to take on this project occurred after I read the text because I fell in love with the main character. Stylistically, the images in the book are an extension of my existing body of work; I didn't force myself to create drawings in a certain "style" for this particular project; my work is clean, graphic and colourful. Instead, my focus was to have Ella's personality inspire and blend with references from my own life and memories (i.e. the things, people, places, and animals that I love!) in order to create drawings that hopefully would appeal to children and adults.
Pick it up in January. Share it with your favorite hip parents. Keep it for yourself. Whatever you do, just get it.