Welcome Back, Eloise

Every afternoon, New York City's Plaza Hotel serves high tea in the Palm Court, a bright winter garden with towering palms and a harpist. And every day, among the set of silver-haired dames in wool suits are demure but excited little girls who have come to pay homage to Eloise. They nibble on cucumber sandwiches and rocky scones, just like their beloved literary heroine.

"They think she's real," says Eloise's illustrator, Hilary Knight, 75, who first drew the plucky character in the 1955 book Kay Thompson's Eloise. In the next decade, he and the eccentric Thompson produced four more books featuring...

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