The Phantom Tollbooth Author:Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer (Illustrator) This ingenious fantasy centers around Milo, a bored ten-year-old who comes home to find a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room. Joining forces with a watchdog named Tock, Milo drives through the tollbooth's gates and begins a memorable journey. He meets such characters as the foolish, yet lovable Humbug, the Mathemagician, and the not-so-... more »wicked "Which," Faintly Macabre, who gives Milo the "impossible" mission of returning two princesses to the Kingdom of Wisdom.
I read books out loud to my children and am going to continue as long as they will let me. My 10 year old is sophisticated enough to understand the many puns in this story while my 8 year old is not, but he still gets a lot out of it--just on a different level. The action starts right away and it hooked my kids on the very first page. I remember reading it because I had to as a kid and I did not like it, but now I am wondering why--since both my kids think it's great and I now realize it is very clever. Give it a go.
For Milo, everything's a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the island of Conclusions(you get there by jumping), leans 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!
Although the book appears written for young teens the story line and "moral" of the prose is suitable and in fact most remindful of how our outlook of the world needs updating and improving. I enjoyed it very much.
This fantasy book is whimsical and jolly, but falls short of any real substance. When a young, apathetic boy finds a mysterious toll booth in his room, he finally is forced to sit up and take notice of the wild world around him. Entering a new world, he meets many odd characters and visits many places that are somewhat laboriously named allegorically. However, any real lesson is devoid for the boy, who returns from his voyage thinking slightly better about his place in the world. It's basically, "you are really good enough if you just try" book, but for my money, Pilgrim's Progress does the fanstacial traveller tale much more cohesively and with deeper thematic truths being addressed.