Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Phantom Tollbooth

by Norton Juster
Rated G

Young Milo just didn't know what to do with himself. Nothing really seemed that interesting, not even school, because after all, what's the point, really? So when he came home one day to find a mysterious parcel in his room labeled "To Milo, Who Has Plenty of Time", Milo was intrigued. Inside was a turnpike tollbooth, which he quickly assembled. After all, he didn't have anything else to do and it might turn out to be a fun toy for an afternoon. Getting in his little car, he opened the map from the package and decided to head for Dictionopolis. With a little shrug, he zoomed his little car up to the tollbooth, paid the toll and. . . suddenly found himself on an unknown country highway in a land full of strange characters. Letters, words, numbers, and senses suddenly take on all new life as he makes his way across this strange land. And a strange land it is because Rhyme and Reason, the beautiful princesses, have been banished to the Castle in the Sky. Can Milo resolve the differences between the rival kingdoms of words and numbers and rescue the princesses before the demons Trivium, Insincerity, and their cohorts capture him?

Originally published in 1961, this book has stood the test of time. It's a fun story line with some great concept visualization. It is a tad cheesy but enjoyable once you get into it. And best of all, squeaky clean!