Thursday, June 22, 2006

Two In One Day

Maybe I should read children's books more often. I managed to finish Norton Jusher's The Phantom Tollbooth very quickly. So now, I actually have two posts in one day. I'm so happy.

That happiness stems, at least partly, from the book. It has to be one of the most imaginative stories I've ever read. It's about an ordinary, and rather bored, boy who travels to kingdom where figures of speech--and those sorts of things--are real and have lessons to teach. Important lessons too, not things like "always eat your vegetables" but "see things as they really are, not just as they seem to be."

While I would definitely call this book educational, it doesn't talk down to its readers, and it's not boring. It's full of interesting, oddball characters like the awful DYNNE and Canby--who is brave as can be and cowardly as can be among other things. There are also terrifying demons like the Terrible Trivium, demon of petty tasks and worthless jobs.

Overall, the book could be described as a sort of cross between L. Frank Baum's Oz books and Piers Anthony's Xanth books (though it predates Xanth by decades). In any case, I loved this one. I give The Phantom Tollbooth 5 yo-yos. Up next, will be the final children's book I got from Amazon, George MacDonald's The Light Princess.

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