|The Phantom Tollbooth
The Phantom Tollbooth
Illustrated by Jules Feiffer
As I’ve mentioned before, things have been a bit stressful lately. I was seeking a comfort read, and I found one in The Phantom Tollbooth. When I first read this book, many years ago, I was utterly charmed and enthralled. I loved all the plays on words and the whimsical illustrations. None of these delights were diminished on my recent re-read.
The Phantom Tollbooth is the story of Milo, a bored little boy who has no interest in the world around him. One day, after hurrying home from school, he discovers a mysterious package in his room. He reluctantly unwraps it, and discovers a “genuine Turnpike Tollbooth” in need of a bit of assembly. Since he has nothing better to do, Milo decides to construct the tollbooth and see what happens.
|Milo and Tock meet the Which
What happens is an incredible romp into an adventure of learning and exploration in the kingdom of Wisdom. Wisdom is a strange type of place, where cars may run on thinking, or silence. Milo somehow is put on a quest to restore Rhyme and Reason (two twin sister princesses) to the kingdom. Without Rhyme and Reason, the kingdom has dissolved into a place of absurdity.
So why would a book that promotes learning and exploration be challenged or banned? I have no idea. I’ve seen The Phantom Tollbooth
referred to as a banned book, but I can’t find any details about it. Does anyone have any details about this?
Update: I notice people keep finding this post by wondering why The Phantom Tollbooth was a banned book, so I thought I’d post a link to what I found: Supposedly a librarian in Boulder, Colorado, removed it from the shelves and locked it away because it was “poor fantasy.” I have no idea how accurate this is, but it’s the only reason I’ve discovered.