Read: The Phantom Tollbooth


For fans of Alice in Wonderland, Chronicles of Narnia, Amelia Bedelia 

My second week in KC it rained all week, so that Tuesday I decided to check something off my list: read a whole book in one sitting.

Obviously, I started out easy. Mostly because my plan of attack was the children’s book The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. It was checked out at the library, and at the moment I was too cheap to buy it. So I treated Barnes and Noble like a library and grabbed it off the shelf and settled down next to the window and sipped on a coffee.

This little tale is a magical little fable of “a bored young boy named Milo who unexpectedly receives a magic tollbooth one afternoon and, having nothing better to do, decides to drive through it in his toy car. The tollbooth transports him to a land called the Kingdom of Wisdom. There he acquires two faithful companions, has many adventures, and goes on a quest to rescue the princesses of the kingdom—Princess Rhyme and Princess Reason—from the castle in the air. The text is full of puns, and many events, such as Milo’s jump to the Island of Conclusions, exemplify literal meanings of English language idioms.” (– thanks wikipedia)

Children and adults can both learn some little truths from this easy read. For those of you with children or nannying, I’m sure the idioms would be a hoot to explain to your young listener as you read aloud. For adults, take a break from that issue of The Economist and read this gem, it’s a better investment.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“Being lost is never a matter of not knowing where you are; it’s a matter of not knowing where you aren’t —and I don’t care at all about where I’m not.”

“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what’s in between.”

“If you had high hopes, how would you know how high they were? And did you know that narrow escapes come in all different widths? Would you travel the whole wide world without ever knowing how wide it was? And how could you do anything at long last,” he [the Dodecahedron] concluded, waving his arms over his head, “without knowing how long the last was? Why, numbers are the most beautiful and valuable things in the world. Just follow me and I’ll show you.”

“For you often learn more from being wrong for the right reasons than right for the wrong reasons.”


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