Don't misunderstand Sofia Vassilieva. The 10-year-old is pleased as punch that, come Sunday evening at 7 ET, avid readers like herself will be glued to their TVs to watch her play the title role in ABC's Wonderful World of Disney adaptation of Eloise at the Plaza, Kay Thompson's beloved book about a matchmaking moppet and her lovelorn nanny (Julie Andrews). But right now, the proud owner of one dog, one cat, "approximately" 27 snails and two worms has a slightly more pressing concern.

"I don't know where my slug is at the moment," she informs TV Guide Online, covering her worry with an infectious laugh. "I had a slug this morning. I think he's somewhere around my backyard."

Ah, such is the life of this rising starlet, a prodigious linguist (she's fluent in both French and Russian) who is quick to reveal that adventure follows her almost as closely as it does Eloise. Even activities that might make us yawn can make her gasp and giggle. For instance, though her canine companion, Mefodi, is "very, very small," whenever he gets a bath, "I'm always surprised at how wet he can get. I guess it's because he has a lot of hair."

On the set of Eloise, too, animals were a never-ending source of wonder and delight for the pint-sized leading lady. In fact, the pooches and turtles that were cast as the heroine's pets, Weenie and Skipperdee, respectively, quickly became her four-legged friends. "They were really, really sweet," she exclaims. "Every time I got tired, I'd play with the dogs. They had two — Stanley and Jezebel. In this movie, we establish that the dog is a girl. In the [sequel, Eloise at Christmastime], we establish that the dog is a boy." Mysterious, indeed!