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(THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH BY Juster, Norton(Author))The Phantom Tollbooth[Hardcover]Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers(Publisher) Unknown Binding – 12 Aug 1961

4.8 out of 5 stars 129 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (12 Aug. 1961)
  • ASIN: B006KK9JG0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,178,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Firstly, please don't be put off by the hideous cover Collins has plonked on this wonderful book. Inside, you'll find the original drawings by Jules Feiffer, which as as elegant and intelligent as the contents.
No bright child of 7+ could fail to be captivated by this tale. Milo is a bored boy who finds an unexpected present waiting for him on his return from school. It's a tollbooth (it doesn't matter if you don't know what this is). He assembles it, gets into his toy car and the moment he drives past the tollbooth finds himself in a magical land. Once ruled by two brothers, King Azaz the Unabridged (or words) and the Mathemagician, it is falling to rack and ruin because of the exile of the Princesses Rhyme and Reason. But danger lurks at every turn - not least that of Milo failing to notice what's going on. He immediately finds himself driving through the Doldrums, and only Tock the heroic Watchdog can rescue him by waking him up and forcing him to concentrate. His adventures include jumping to Conclusions (an island that looks lovely from afar but it a bleak overcrowded desert on arrival), orchestrating Chroma's colourful orchestra, breaking the Soundkeeper's fortress and learning about infinity - even before he ventures into the demon infested mountains to find the stair to the Castle in the Air.
Packed with splendid jokes, puns and brain-teasers, what is so special about the book is that it encourages children to think about a huge variety of subjects without ever hectoring them. Why is it important to notice details of daily life? Why does it matter that you choose good sounds rather than the ones adored by Dr. Kakphonous A. Dischord and his Dreadful Dynne? Why should you grow up rather than down? What do figures of speech mean, when taken literally?
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Format: Paperback
I first read this book when I was around 11yrs old and I still read it periodically at 34yrs of age! This is a wonderful book with a magical story written with warmth and humour. Suitable for reading ages 8+ this book is full of little moral messages that are very well woven into the tale. Excellent.
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Format: Paperback
Norton Juster's book is ostensibly a children's book. However, like much of children's literature, it contains hidden (and not so hidden) aspects that are of delight to adults as well. This, when you think of it, makes sense--the point of children's literature is to educate as well as entertain (one hopes!), therefore, it makes sense that some of the lessons will be more 'adult' than the actual storyline would seem to indicate.
Milo and his various friends and enemies encountered along the way serve to illustrate many of the foibles and quirks of adult life. The Phantom Tollbooth serves as a gateway to a place that embodies the physical manifestations of metaphors.
For instance, in Dictionopolis (a city of words) Milo is invited to a banquet at which one must eat one's words. Just as in our world, sometimes those words can be sour and very hard to swallow.
Also, while you can jump to the Isle of Conclusions, you must reach the mainland again only by swimming through the sea of knowledge. And the water is cold. It is not easy to recover from having jumped to conclusions.
The interplay between concepts, the tension between words and numbers, the divisions and alliances that are made, the enemies who seem to be friends, all of these serve to make a delightful play which will interest children and adults.
Milo, of course, makes it home safely after a fascinating journey, and while he would like to take another trip, the phantom tollbooth is needed elsewhere for other children, too. However, Milo realises that he has his own tollbooth in his imagination, and thus the adventure need never end.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This wonderfully imaginative and funny book is my son's favourite book. As a reluctant mildly dyslexic reader he loses interest in a book very quickly. Not so with this one. He loved all the word play and felt extremely chuffed as he worked out all the puns. A huge success. The humour moves quickly though and I know children who are not so quick on the verbal uptake who have found it dull. Be careful you don't give it to them too young. 8 years for the very bright, otherwise 9+.
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Format: Paperback
Written with tongue firmly in cheek, this is as much a book to be read aloud, as it is to be read. Juster doesn't just use the English language, but he plays and dances with it, turning common phrases inside-out, and around, but never in a meaningless way.
The story is about Milo, who doesn't know what to do, and his journeys through the Land of Wisdom. To go into detail about the story, is to ruin much of the surprise, but suffice to say, he has grand adventures, defeats dangerous enemies, and generally does everything you come to expect in an adventure meant for children.
If you enjoy reading, you will enjoy this book.
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By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Milo is an irritating kind of child - finds school boring, can't quite see the point of learning maths, doesn't pay attention to the things around him and is eternally bored. Irritating but normal, I'd say. Then one day he discovers a mysterious package in his bedroom which turns out to be a magical tollbooth that transports him to another world. And soon he is on a quest to return Rhyme and Reason to this strange land...

Oh, dear! I tried so hard to like this. A lot of it is quite imaginative - the conductor who plays the colours of the day, the numbers' mine, some of the wordplay. But most of the 'quirky' characters are thinly-disguised teachers, banging home their unsubtle message that we must all learn how to read and count, and pay attention at school etc etc. At first, I assumed my negative reaction was because I was just too old for it (and I'm sure that is a large part of the reason). But then I remembered my childhood reaction to the dreaded The Water Babies, with its hideous pair of monstrous horrors, Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby and Mrs Bedonebyasyoudid - a book I thoroughly hated and despised when I was young for its preachy and patronising tone (while I'm pretty sure I missed most of the satirical elements of it). Although The Phantom Tollbooth is undoubtedly more fun, I realised it follows the same pattern of unsubtle moralising and lesson-teaching all the way through.

And the preachiness meant that the linguistic inaccuracies and grammatical errors bothered me considerably more than they would have if the book had merely been setting out to entertain.
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