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Thursday, September 18, 2003
The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster  

Title: The Phantom Tollbooth
Author: Norton Juster
Genre: Children's Fiction
Rating: 9/10
Before J.K. Rowling, there was Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and Norton Juster.

Before Harry Potter, there was The Magic Faraway Tree, James and The Giant Peach, and The Phantom Tollbooth.

If you like stories like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, you will like The Phantom Tollbooth. If you like linguistics literature and a lot of word play, you will absolutely love this book!

I just decided I'd shift the end of my review to make it my introduction... but yeah. Have you read this story? About a boy called Milo who 'didn't know what to do with himself - not just sometimes, but always' and who remarked to himself one day,
"It seems to me that almost everything is a waste of time"
That one day he just rattles along thoughts like that as he makes his way home and upon reaching home, he sees geniune turnpike tollbooth sitting in his room, waiting to be assembled and addressed to him. And Milo, having nothing better to do, sits into his little toy-car and pays the tollbooth where he crosses over the fantasy Kingdom of Wisdom. Having nothing better to do, he finds himself in a whole lotta *read: FUN* adventures as he volunteers to rescue the banished princesses, Rhyme and Reason from the Castle in the Air. On the way he passes expectations, gets sidelined as he arrives in the Doldrums, and then arrives in Dictionopolis where he gets jailed and meets a Which. There are other interesting places in the Kingdom of Wisdom that Milo visits, and accompanied by the watchdog Tock and the Humbug, Milo gradually learns a few valuable lessons about life as well.

And so do the readers. The adventures of Milo in the Kingdom of Wisdom also becomes our little adventure as we cross the tollbooth turn-pike and chug into the land Beyond Expectations (that's chapter 2, btw). Jules Feiffer's illustrations (found across all versions of this book) do help in energizing and waking up the child in you... and well, this is one of the very huge reasons why I still love reading Children's Fiction.

One Genuine Cool Book. If I may say. Go get one. Costs only RM 13.90 at your nearest MPH.

minishorts  # 10:53 PM
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