The Phantom Tollbooth

January 16th, 2012
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Read: Sunday, October 30, 2011

Summary: Milo, a 10-year old boy, is bored and doesn’t ever have anything better to do.  One day, unexpectedly, Milo receives an unusual gift in his bedroom – a tollbooth.  Not having anything else to do, Milo is transported through the tollbooth to a land called Kingdom of Wisdom.  This kingdom is the backdrop to Milo’s magical drive on his toy car. He set on a mission to rescue the princesses of the kingdom, Princess Rhyme and Princess Reason.  Milo acquires two faithful companions who help him with his many adventures and his quest to rescue the princesses. The text is full of puns, and many events, which exemplify literal meanings of English language idioms such as Milo’s jump to the Island of Conclusion.

The Phantom Tollbooth

My Thoughts: I remember watching an animated movie of this book in my childhood which was good, from what I remember.  It wasn’t until I saw one of my cousins reading this book years ago that I decided to read it myself.  It’s one of those young reader books that is entertaining both for children and adults.  The book was written in 1961 and all the lessons offered still hold true to this day.  The use of puns makes it entertaining as the adventure is moved along through the lands of Dictionopolis and Digitopolis. It offers great lessons for children on the equal importance of words and numbers. For adults, it revisits these importances, for example, one of the many puns throughout the book focuses on how we are to choose words wisely and not to jump to conclusions.  Through the mathemagician, we learn the importance of statistics and comparisons. For the adult, it is a very quick read and I’m sure it’ll be more enjoyable reading it with a young child.

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