Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Review of The Phantom Tollbooth

phantom The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, was a really good book. I was so engrossed in reading it that I read it in one long morning. I recommend it for all ages.

It's about a kid named Milo who gets sent a tollbooth that leads to another world. The main characters' names are Tock, Milo, and Humbug. The whole book is basically a pun on words.

At one point in the book, when Milo has just gone through the tollbooth, he met this man called "the whether man." Milo asked him whether it was going to be sunny or rainy. The Whether Man answered, "How should I know?" Then, Milo said, "Well, you're the weather man." "I'm not the Weather Man, I'm the Whether Man. Don't you think it's a lot more important to know whether there is weather, rather than what kind of weather it is?"

Then, Milo asked him, "Is this the right road to Dictionapolis?" The Whether Man said, "I don't know if there are any wrong ways to Dictionopolis. If it's not the right road to Dictionapolis, then it's the right road to somewhere else."

I love this book because the verbal puns made me laugh.


Sandra Foyt said...

Alex and I are discussing the author's intent, and this is what he thinks it is:

You can be happy right where you are.

Bob Andelman said...

You might enjoy this Mr. Media podcast interview with cartoonist Jules Feiffer, who talks about the new collection of his comic strips from the Village Voice, Explainers, getting his start with Will Eisner on The Spirit, his plays (Little Murders), his movies (Carnal Knowledge, Popeye), the Disney musical adaptation of The Man in the Ceiling, and his forthcoming memoirs.