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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

The Case of the Curious Pink Poster

Welcome to my home!  Please.  Make yourself comfortable.  Mid-afternoon omelet, anyone?  No?  Just as well.  Can’t bake the darn things to save my soul.

Yes indeed, we are very proud of our little apartment here in NYC we are.  Quite proud.  And see that lovely pink poster over there?  Well, we’re more than a little proud of it as well.  Even before my husband and I moved to New York, we visited once before and purchased this cool original French movie poster of the film Funny Face.  I’ll level with you.  Truth be told?  I’d never even seen it.  But I was already an Audrey Hepburn fan, and the poster is more than a little attractive.  We bought it long before GAP commercials started stealing Audrey’s dancing scene for their slim black pant ads.  We had it framed, hung it on our wall, and whenever we moved it came with us.

Little did I know that this poster was bound to betray me.

Now consider something entirely different.  The Eloise books by Kay Thompson.  Recently you may have noticed that Jules at 7-Imp and I both solicited your opinions on celebrity picture books.  During the course of the discussion at Jules’s post, J.L. Bell of the blog Oz and Ends made this pertinent observation. "Kay Thompson’s Eloise books are the only children’s titles I can think of that have lasted a long time and eclipsed the author’s contemporaneous show-biz career. Thompson appeared in night clubs with the Williams brothers, in Funny Face and a couple of other movies, and on radio and TV. Her musical recordings led to Eloise and promoted that book."

I read this comment without processing the Funny Face part.  Indeed, my eyes traipsed right over it without taking it in.  Since purchasing my poster I’ve seen the movie and enjoyed it.  Not the best Hepburn (nor the best Astaire) but serviceable.  It had its moments.  Things to recommend it. 

So I mention that Bell cited Thompson to my husband as a kind of off-handed comment and Matt says, "Oh.  The Kay Thompson on our Funny Face poster?"

No.

Could it be?

All these years.

I rushed into the dining room and lo and behold . . . .

I’ve been living with Kay Thompson for years and never knew it.  Go here to watch her perform in that same movie, if you like.  She’s all over YouTube these days, singing up a storm.  Here’s one such example of her younger pre-Eloise days:

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About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.

Comments

  1. We had a huge vase on top of our piano when I was growing up. One day, as an adult, I asked my parents where they got it and my dad said, “Oh that Van Loon fellow gave it to your grandmother — I think he had a crush on her.” Turns out it was Hendrick van Loon, author of the first ever Newbery Award winner! So you never know what’s hanging around in your house!

  2. Pretty cool poster, love the large size. Is that a table tennis net I see on the dining room table or are my eyes fooling me?

  3. It is. You know you’ve made it in New York when you can play table tennis whenever you like.

  4. James Kennedy says:

    I’m looking forward to finding out how “Roger Edens” and “Stanley Donen” also figure into your life. This poster is a map of your fate. Look closer: under the frame, in the corner, somebody scrawled “James Kennedy” in tiny letters . . .

    I’M IN YOUR APARTMENT RIGHT NOW.

  5. Miss Erin says:

    That is SO COOL. So, so cool. And I love that poster A TON.

  6. J. L. Bell says:

    My work here is done.

  7. James' Mother says:

    I’ve already told you to get that boy under control — EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!

  8. If I had the guts I’d swing the camera around and take a photograph of the opposite wall where, LOST-style, the names of every author and illustrator I knew were scrawled there in a childlike hand.

    Hey, man. For all you know, that could be true.

  9. Fran Manushkin says:

    In the 1970’s I saw Kay Thompson walk into Ursula Nordstrom’s office. She was dressed completely in black leather (jacket and pants) and I found her scary. She wasn’t introduced to any of us, so I never heard her voice.

  10. Constance says:

    Wasn’t it through her celebrity-ness that she became Liza Minelli’s godmother? Which inspired Eloise?

    Ugh, I started to look that up to check but got some vile Eloise picture book spin off so can go no further…

  11. Fiona and Joe says:

    We thought opposite.