The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

July 22, 2016

Reviewed as a mother,

A retired teacher suggested this book to me several years ago.  It was originally published in 1961 and while the few people I have met who have read it loved it the vast majority had never heard of it.  I read it aloud to the kids when they were 5,6 and 8.  They loved the story and still recall parts of it, reciting it at the oddest times.   The book jacket describes a story about a boy who gets into his toy car and drives to an imaginary land.  If you are like me you may be thinking that the story is too “childish” for your growing reader however just like me you’d be wrong.  This book is written in an extremely clever way using and introducing literary devices in so many different and creative ways.  The word play is exceptional and the kids enjoyed the humorous characters all the more as they discovered the double entendre and hidden meanings.  From the “watch”dog named Tick that could only tock to the lost princesses “Rhyme” and “Reason” every word is thoughtfully chosen and vital to the story.   This is one of those books that feels light and funny progressing at a fast entertaining pace yet still manages to stealthily teach not only vocabulary and writing tools but also blatantly looks at the reasons people behave as they do.   This book is entertaining for all age groups if you can get past the some what silly premise and just enjoy the ride.  All three of my kiddos at 6, 8  & 9 could read this book with my 6 year old needing occasional help only with the pronunciation of the new words, the book is written in  a way that makes the definition of these new words very clear.

Lexie level 1000

Wrap Up

The Phantom Tollbooth



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