by Karen Valby and Matthew Flamm
The fifth installment of the Eloise children’s book series, ”Eloise Takes a Bawth,” which author Kay Thompson worked on and then abandoned in the 1960s, is being resurrected and reconstructed for publication this October. ”Eloise” illustrator Hilary Knight, who worked with Thompson for four years on the final sequel, will supply new pictures, based on sketches he made four decades ago, as well as the ”road map” to the text: ”The pictures tell the story of Eloise taking a bath, flooding the Plaza, and a resolution,” says Brenda Bowen, an exec V.P. at Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.
With the blessings of the author’s estate, playwright Mart Crowley (”The Boys in the Band”) will piece together the different drafts and scraps of text that Thompson left behind. ”Imagine 12 drafts of the same story, and someone has blown all the pages down the stairs, and the wind blew away 50 percent of them,” says Bowen. ”That’s where Mart comes in to make it a story.”