Book: The Phantom Tollbooth
Author: Norton Juster
My Rating: 5 Nostalgic Stars
Hiya bookworms! I’ve got a classic for you today. I was perusing my son’s bookshelves the other night and came across my copy of The Phantom Tollbooth, which was given to me by my fourth grade teacher. So naturally, I dropped everything to read it again. And to be honest, I loved it even more as an adult than I did as a fourth grader. And I LOVED it as a fourth grader. It was one of the most creative books I had ever read and it really inspired me to think outside the box.
I highly recommend re-reading your favorite childhood books as an adult. I found it to be an interesting experience. As a fourth grader, I loved this book for it’s absurdity. The entire scene in Dictionopolis with the Spelling Bee and the Humbug was so weird and funny. And Tock, the dog who makes a “tick” sound and sets off his alarm when he gets excited was delightfully clever. I was hooked instantly! As an adult, I reading Milo say things like, “I didn’t know that I was going to have to eat my words,” makes me view the entire story from a different, more mature point of view.
I don’t know that there are many books out there that can resonate with both children and adults the way this one can. Reading it now was such an odd experience because I could remember all the parts I thought were so fun as a child, and at the same time I could see so much wisdom in it as an adult. Like the fact that both kingdoms were a shambles without “Rhyme and Reason” was lost on me as a child, but as an adult it’s so clever and relevant. Also, I don’t think I appreciated the illustrations enough as a child. My copy is illustrated by Jules Feiffer, and I spent probably 15 minutes just studying the map at the beginning of the story.
If you read this one in elementary school, I encourage you to pick it up again just for a trip down memory lane! Take a trip through the Doldrums to rescue Rhyme and Reason! Take your time and look at all the pictures. If you have middle schoolers, I think this would be great to read together! It is certainly a clever book that has stood the test of time.
Krystle Goodman is a crazy cat lady, who loves to drink exorbitant amounts of coffee, and read a shocking amount of books. She lives in Benton with her husband Josh, her son Roman, and their two cats Roxanne and Abby. When she isn’t reading, you’ll find her cooking, painting, or watching true crime shows. Watch for Krystle’s book reviews every Friday. Send fanmail to: [email protected]
See more of Krystle’s reviews at www.mysaline.com/krystle.