The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, Illustrated by Jules Feiffer
Genre: Juvenile Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: Originally 1961, this edition 1996
The Short Version:
Young Milo takes an adventurous trip through a mysterious tollbooth from his bedroom into a world of adventure.
Why I Read It:
It was becoming obvious that my I had a major lapse in my childhood by missing this book.
From the publisher:
For Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he’s got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and even embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason! Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes something astonishing. Life is far from dull. In fact, it’s exciting beyond his wildest dreams. . . .
I already want to read this again.
It reminds me of a lot of the animated “children’s movies’ that include a lot of subtext that is hilarious to adults but flies right over the kids’ heads. This is a fun fantasy adventure story for kids but the puns, wordplay and political satire make it plenty of fun for adults too.
The world of Wisdom that is divided over the supremacy of Words or Numbers turns out to have many fun and funny surprises. Milo’s quest to return Rhyme and Reason to the land had me giggling to myself.
I’m really not sure how I missed this book when I was a kid because it’s absolutely something I would have loved and read over and over again. I guess I’ll have to make up for it now.