Paul K, January 27, 2014 (view all comments by Paul K)
I can almost definitively say that this book sparked my curiosity in the world, and led me to start thinking about everything in a new way. And today I am getting my PhD in Neuroscience, so clearly this book molds young minds into scientist patterns. Clearly. But seriously, this is a book about puns and words and math, but it is fun and imaginative and, though it was written 50 years ago, still very relevant to life today. I think all children should read this book, or have it read to them by an adult before bedtime.
Eric Hamell, December 2, 2012 (view all comments by Eric Hamell)
This was the first sizable book I ever read, at age eight. It definitely helped stimulate my intellect, probably because by concretizing abstractions, it made it easier to think about them.
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Lindsay Waite, August 20, 2012 (view all comments by Lindsay Waite)
Young Milo is bored. One day he receives a mysterious package and it is not even Christmas or his birthday. He opens it up and finds parts of a turnpike tollbooth. Instructions begin: "Easily assembled at home, and for use by those who have never traveled in lands beyond." Since Milo has nothing else to do,he puts it together. With some skepticism about whether he will have fun, he enters the tollbooth and passes through to incredible places. Published in New York City in 1961, and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, "The Phantom Tollbooth" has been enjoyed by parents and children for over 50 years now. Milo encounters a watchdog, a large creature perfectly normal except for his body - a ticking clock. In Dictionopolis, Milo goes to the Word Market where five "tall, thin gentlemen regally dressed" talk one after the other: "Greetings!" "Salutations!" "Welcome!" "Good Afternoon!" 'Hello!" Later, as Milo asks whether the words they are saying mean the same thing, they respond: "Of course." "Certainly." "Precisely." "Exactly." "Yes." Readers will find the Humbug, the Gorgons of Hate and Malice, the Demons of Ignorance and other smart and funny characters in this fantastical world. Enjoy, as a young person, and again as an adult.
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by Anna Quindlen, The New York Times,
"I read [The Phantom Tollbooth] first when I was 10. I still have the book report I wrote, which began 'This is the best book ever.''"
by The New Yorker,
"A classic... Humorous, full of warmth and real invention."
Illustrated in black-and-white. 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-wicked "Which," Faintly Macabre, who gives Milo the "impossible" mission of returning two princesses to the Kingdom of Wisdom.
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