so first things first in answer to the question does this book hold up here s what s weird i have no memory of reading this book as a kid i know i read it i remember all of jules feiffer s illustrations and i have strong memories of taking it off the library shelves and adding it to my stack on a number of occasions, and i also remember it being read to me in elementary school in my AT program that s academically talented, thank you very much however, reading it for this project, it was completely unfamiliar to me i had no nostalgic shiver of recognition, nor any anticipation of what was to come the only explanation i have for this blank is that while reading this book as a child, i also witnessed an unspeakable crime, after which i was kidnapped and had my memory wiped, accounting both for the lack of memory and the simultaneously strong memory of borrowing it from the library multiple times.
which is fine i have no interest in remembering unspeakable crimes, and the memory wipe allowed me to experience this book as though for the first time baby karen review adult review adults only this time, i guess this book is beyond delightful silly, yes but also genuinely funny and smart full of puns and paradoxes and wordplay and wonderland logic, butsophisticated and less loopy than wonderland it s a clever kind of humor that appeals to both kids and adults and also happens to be full of truthsyou can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and still come out completely dry Most people do.
sure, there are lots of lessons, like the importance of choosing your words with precision, and the necessity of common sense and imagination in learning, as it contributeslasting value than rote memorization, which is basically the point of this book milo is a smart enough kid, but he is bored by school, because he has no framework for applying his learningI can t see the point in learning to solve useless problems, or subtracting turnips from turnips, or knowing where Ethiopia is or how to spell Februarybut once he passes through the magical phantom tollbooth, he begins to actually apply his brain and creativity towards problem solving adventures both linguistic and numerical, meeting many crazy characters along the way, taking some on as traveling companions, like the wonderful watchdog who is a dog and a watch at once like the watchdog, the lessons milo learns revolve around the ideas of what is possible broadening his educational perspective, transcending the limited brainbox of formal education and embracing a less structured,experiential approach to learningone of the nicest things about mathematics, or anything else you might care to learn, is that many of the things which can never be, often are this is one of those revelations that can change a person, and juster reinforces it in a number of waysso many things are possible just as long as you don t know they re impossible which is a reasoning that brings to mind that alice in wonderland quote Alice laughed There s no use trying, she said one can t believe impossible things I daresay you haven t had much practice, said the Queen When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day Why, sometimes I ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast but it s a different treatment in alice, the tone is just a giggle it s silliness in a vacuum juster s take isencouraging and ultimatelyuseful as a life lesson, fostering self confidence you had the courage to try and what you can do is often simply a matter of what you will do that is not to say that this is a through and through feel good book some of the realizations are very sobering slaps But if all the roads arrive at the same place at the same time, then aren t they all the right way asked Milo Certainly not he shouted, glaring from his most upset face They re all the wrong way Just because you have a choice, it doesn t mean that any of them has to be right this is an amazing insight and i wish i DID remember this book from my childhood days, because lord knows it is a useful lesson and it s one that many adults haven t figured out of course, we ve figured out some of the other lessons the hard way You ll find, he remarked gently, that the only thing you can do easily is be wrong, and that s hardly worth the effort indeed.
the last thing i want to call out is this illustration of the terrible trivium, which looks like nothing less than an early version of slender man the terrible trivium is just as insidious as slender man he doesn t make kids stab their friends, but as the demon of petty tasks and worthless jobs, ogre of wasted effort, and monster of habit, he definitely brings his share of struggle to us all with his outlookIf you only do the easy and useless jobs, you ll never have to worry about the important ones which are so difficult You just won t have the time For there s always something to do to keep you from what you really should be doing which is interesting to me, because i encountered a similar philosophy recently in Arbitrary Stupid Goal, and when i read it there, i applauded it A goal that isn t too important makes you live in the moment, and still gives you a driving force This driving force is a way to get around the fact that we will all die and there is no real point to life.
But with the ASG there is a point It is not such an important point that you postpone joy to achieve it It is just a decoy point that keeps you bobbing along, allowing you to find ecstasy in the small things, the unexpected, and the everyday.
What happens when you reach the stupid goal Then what You just find a new ASG.
i recognized and appreciated this way of thinking, completely forgotting about juster s version of it until i sat down to write this review and noticed the parallel which makes my theory about some sort of book related memory wipe implanted by hypnotic suggestion in my formative yearsor less fact so, if you haven t read this one yet, or if you have had your own memory of having read it wiped, get on it and if you have bred children, make them read it and do not let them anywhere near unspeakable crimes which should go without saying, but still.
JANUARY wait till helen comesFEBRUARY the little gymnastMARCH zucchiniAPRIL something queer at the libraryMAY good bye pink pigJUNE the girl with the silver eyes shark week was so much later this year than usual that it threw me off, so i m reading this one just under the gun, and trying to finish twoshark books before the week of festivities ends YEESH come to my blog You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and still come out completely dry.
After a long time, this is the first children book I ve read It s a good book I read this book because of its amazing cover And the fact that it s my cousin s course book She lent it to me and I read it in three sittings And loved it It s the story of a bored child, Milo who doesn t find anything interesting in the real world One day he gets Phantom Tollbooth as present which allows him to go to the Land Beyond The Land Beyond has two main and important kingdoms, Dictionpolis and Digitopolis Dictionpolis is ruled by the king of words, Azaz And Digitopolis is ruled by a Mathemagician Both kingdoms are at conflict because their kings are biased of their own way of communication The matters in kingdoms have become worse because of the absence of two princesses, Rhyme and Reason Milo goes on the quest to save them along with his two companions, a dog and a bug Words and numbers are of equal value, for, in the cloak of knowledge, one is warp and the other weft.
To be honest, I was expecting it to be very funny But it had one or two of such moments I loved Dictionpolisthan Digitopolis In Dictionpolis, one literally eats his own words LOL And in Digitopolis, there is Subtraction Stew By eating this, you will feelhungry than before This book contains some indirect lessons which I think is a good way to represent The scenes of Silent Valley were the best ones The way he made it un silent was incredible I think the way he rescued the princesses were little bit dull Not upto my satisfaction You can get in a lot of trouble mixing up words or just not knowing how to spell them.
All in all, it s a good book Recommend it 23rd July 2018 I don t remember much about this book, except that I loved it to pieces, and that the subtraction stew always made me really hungry.
My mother got this for us when I was 8 and it was first published in 1961 I still own that original edtion and it is not in great shape due to multiple readings This is as much an adult as a children s book Although I loved the story right away, it wasmeaningful as I got older and I understood all the plays on words and deeper messages Still worth rereading every decade or so as an adult, and it remains one of my favorite books It s a very witty book I m a sucker for maps, however basic, and there is a map of the pretend world written about in the inside covers of the book A very good fantasy with a very real heart.
Anyone who has a passion for words and wordplay will enjoy reading The Phantom Tollbooth In this charming children s book, author Norton Juster takes us on an adventure with his main character Milo, a young boy who enters a chaotic place called the Kingdom of Wisdom and finds that to restore order in the kingdom, he must save the banished princesses Rhyme and Reason.
When the story begins, Milo gets home one afternoon expecting to go through the same humdrum after school routine he always goes through But on this particular day, he arrives home to find a tollbooth waiting to transport him to a faraway place Soon, Milo is traveling through the Kingdom of Wisdom, seeking to rescue Rhyme and Reason with the help of his companions, Tock the Watchdog and the Humbug.
Along the way, Milo meets some interesting and clever characters, such as the Whether Man not to be confused with the Weather Man, for after all it simportant to know whether there will be weather than what the weather will be and Kakofonous Dischord, Doctor of Dissonance, whom Milo meets on the outskirts of the Valley of Sound Page after page, Juster s clever puns and witty plays on words make his characters memorable and his storyline entertaining.
On his journey, Milo travels to several places within the Kingdom of Wisdom, learning useful things along the way In Dictionopolis, for instance, he discovers the abundance of words and the importance of choosing the right word for the right occasion On his way to Digitopolis, a land ruled by numbers, Milo ends up on the Island of Conclusions There, he decides to himself, From now on, I m going to have a very good reason before I make up my mind about anything, and he learns that you can lose too much time jumping to Conclusions Armed with the knowledge he has gathered on his journey through the Kingdom, Milo finally reaches the Mountains of Ignorance, where he and his faithful companions dodge and outwit various demons and ultimately save the princesses Rhyme and Reason In the end, Milo is transported back to the present with a newfound curiosity about the world and a greater appreciation for learning.
Juster s humor throughout the story is at times subtle, at times downright silly, but often clever and thought provoking, making this book an enjoyable read for young and old alike They say there s a child in all of us, and The Phantom Tollbooth truly is a children s book for all ages.
In the end, when Milo has developed into a curious, mature boy who cherishes the adventure of learning, he receives a final lesson from all the crazy characters in the story As the cheering continued, Rhyme leaned forward and touched Milo gently on the shoulder They re cheering for you, she said with a smile But I could never have done it, he objected, without everyone else s help That may be true, said Reason gravely, but you had the courage to try and what you can do is often simply a matter of what you will do That s why, said Azaz, there was one very important thing about your quest that we couldn t discuss until you returned I remember, said Milo eagerly Tell me now It was impossible, said the king, looking at the Mathemagician Completely impossible, said the Mathemagician, looking at the king Do you mean said the bug, who suddenly felt a bit faint Yes, indeed, they repeated together but if we d told you then, you might not have gone and, as you ve discovered, so many things are possible just as long as you don t know they re impossible And for the remainder of the ride Milo didn t utter a sound I read this book aloud to a Grade 7 a couple of years ago, and later, when they were in Grade 9, they told me it was still their favourite book, and one they would never have read through or understood without the joint effort of the class, as it is a story requiring a high level of language skills as well as general understanding of how to motivate learning and generate curiosity Just like Milo in the story, some students might have given up in the middle if they had not shared and cheered each other on It is not a simple mainstream, straightforward plot.
One of the completely impossible tasks in the book was described by the author in an afterword He had had a conflict with his illustrator who refused to draw a required situation in the book He claimed it to be impossible The drawing was supposed to show the following Three demons, one tall and thin, the second short and fat, and the third exactly the same as the other two My students and I gave ourselves the task to create the drawing, and there were as many different results as there were participants in the activity But we solved it I m possible , we wrote underneath It is one of my favourite memories of reading with students, and I highly recommend the book to grown ups and children alike if you are not satisfied, after all, wasted time will be refunded I am a reader, and I measure my life in books, and the ones that I read in my very early years were probably the most formative You can learn a lot about a person by what their childhood was like whether they played outside all the time or preferred to stay indoors, whether they read or didn t, whether they drew or played sports or learned instruments and languages.
I, for one, loved words I read many books with large words in them, and so I was always asking my mother what they meant, or looking them up in the dictionary, or trying to just guess I loved long words, short words, words that were fun to say I would spell them, write them down, sometimes just say them aloud in strings of total gibberish Even as a child, I remember being amazed that I could make sounds with my mouth that other people could recognise and understand The idea that I could say the word apple, which really is an odd word when you look at it long enough, and that somebody else would know exactly what I was referring to was thrilling.
I used to play a word association game I made up where I would think of a word, then think of a word associated with that word, then a word associated with that word, and on and on until I either tried to get back to the word I started with or tried to see how far I could deviate from my original word So a game might start with the word pencil and go from there to paper, bag, rag, towel, trowel, garden, green, leaf, tree, wood, paper Or I might start with pencil and go to lead, bed, jumping, kangaroo, pouch, couch, sofa, soda, bubbles This all took place in my brain, and sometimes I d just sit in my room for hours and do this I would be lying if I said I didn t still do it occasionally I loved books, too I loved the idea that somebody could put words down on paper and that I could create a world in my mind based off of those words From a young age, I followed characters, tried to predict plots, and lived in that lovely world somewhere between reality and imagination that we call literature.
All of this boils down to the fact that, to me, language was a playground I d make up words, speak backwards, sometimes go whole stretches of time just spelling out words instead of speaking, like H E L L O space M O M comma H O W space A R E space Y O U space D O I N G question mark Punctuation, spelling, even fonts and typeface and foreign languages everything related to words was something I was fond of.
And it all started with The Phantom Tollbooth.
Well, not exactly I d been doing a lot of this stuff even before I read the book, but The Phantom Tollbooth really helped to make these qualities stick with me.
Why Because I felt the way I do whenever I find a great book that I m not alone Norton Juster, through wordplay and illustrations and wit, showed me that language, and, to an even greater extent, knowledge, was a wonderful thing As I read this book and travelled among the Whether Man, Princess Rhyme and Princess Reason, the Mathemagician, and King Azaz the Unabridged, as I read riddles and jokes and equations and utter nonsense and wise advice and snatches of song, as I ventured with Milo and Tock into the Doldrums and the Lands Beyond, to Dictionopolis and Digitopolis and up over the Mountains of Ignorance, I recognised myself in all of these things, and each one of them told me that I wasn t weird for loving language and reading compulsively and making up words and collecting utterly useless facts Oraccurately, they told me that I was weird but that there aren t enough weird people in the world who commit themselves to these things, so it was okay.
You can learn a lot about a person based on the books on their bookshelf whether they re pristine or worn, whether they re organised or not, whether they ve got notes written in the margins or flowers pressed between the covers or the signatures of authors And if you were to look at my pitifully small bookshelf the rest of my books reside in two enormous stacks by my bed , you would find a worn, torn, stained, and utterly beloved copy of The Phantom Tollbooth And perhaps you would be able to tell, just by looking at it, that it taught me one of the most important lessons I ve learned that imagination is a beautiful thing, and even if you think that you re too old for things like word games and math equations and fun facts and puns and stories things, in short, that bring you knowledge and delight, even if you think you ve outgrown them Deep down, they will never outgrow you.
Librarian S Note For An Alternate Cover Edition Of The Same ISBN, Click HereHailed As A Classic Humorous, Full Of Warmth And Real Invention The New Yorker , This Beloved Story First Published Than Fifty Years Ago Introduces Readers To Milo And His Adventures In The Lands Beyond 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 This was a joy to read again It s amazing how much of this had faded from my memory since childhood.
Norton takes all these common phrases and ideas and puts them together in a way that makes them feel absurd He remakes them This is a great book for kids starting out their reading journey It sparks the imagination about words I loved the dictionopolis That was amazing Words are important and this book encourages a curiosity about language and words and how things can be used It is a fun little middle grade read that I m so glad is still around I did listen to this in the car on my way to school and I can t remember many of the wonderful quotes from characters I would love to put down here and comment on Rhyme and Reason are important in this book and without them we do see what a mess the world can be.
I also enjoy how The Phantom Tollbooth just appears and disappears without ever explaining who are what sent it It just is I found that refreshing This should be school reading or on a reading list at school This also reminds me so much of Alice and Wonderland and the absurdity of the characters we meet in this strange land Milo is simply trying to figure things out It s the closest thing to it that I know of It is a sharp witted little story and it s easy to see how it came out of the 60s era I had fun reading it.
Is this the cleverest book of all time I think this is the cleverest book of all time.
I so deeply enjoyed rereading this When I was younger, I would only keep books that I would reread over and over and I would pick up each one, seriously, an average of 4 to 6 times I believe this absolute insanity is why I was unable to reread for the subsequent, like, 6 years But now we re BACK And it s been a mixed bag, but rereading this was just the greatest.
There were so many puns and allusions and metaphors I didn t understand the first eleven times I read it, so they made rereading this like a whole new experience I read it in a sitting It was such a blast.
And it thrills me to be able to state THAT SETTING THOUGH God, I want to drop a visit to the Lands Beyond so badly Don t you guys wish you could jump into books, just for a hot second Or, at the very least, a mysterious tollbooth would be given to you to grant you passage into a mysterious kingdom filled with puns I mean, come on.
This is only going to be a mini review because I don t even know how much I can joke about this book I have a major soft spot for it, okay We all have our things.
Bottom line Totally give this book a try It s compelling, and clever, and short, and the characters are so cute, and the setting is so fascinating and creative and fun and amazing, and the whole thing will stick to ya like glue I ll never be able to escape this book, and I m not mad about it.