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Phantom Tollboth

Max and I have been doing a lot of reminscing lately about outstanding children’s literature (brought on by our mutual enjoyment of the Harry Potter series). Max tipped me off about Gordan Korman, who I’d never read, and I introduced him to John Bellairs.

Here’s another one I wonder if Max has read: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster. I still pull it out about once a year to read.

The animated version was fairly lame and I’ve always wished someone would write a musical based on it. I’d much rather see The Phantom Tollbooth as a musical than The Seussical (currently in the works by Broadway composers Flaherty & Ahrens). And I’d definitely prefer to see the proposed stage version of The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T.

2 responses so far (Respond)

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I finally broke down and bought the first HARRY POTTER book. While in the children’s section, I looked for old favorite’s like Madeleine L’Engle’s WRINKLE IN TIME et seq., Mary Rodgers’ FREAKY FRIDAY (couldn’t find it!), the Roald Dahls, and John Bellairs. I know that I read Bellairs as a kid, but I couldn’t remember anything about any of them.

Last summer, I had some free time and I was visiting my folks, so I picked up a paperback of Ellen Raskin’s THE WESTING GAME. Sure enough, it was as good as I remembered. I left the copy with my little sister (she’s the right age for it), but I’d be surprised if she ever read it.

So today, I bought a Raskin book that I never read: FIGGS & PHANTOMS. It wasn’t as good as THE WESTING GAME or THE MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF LEON (I MEAN NOEL), but it was still enjoyable. It had all the Raskin touches: quirky signs, interesting puzzle, and shamelessly invented names (Sister Figg married Newton “Newt” Newton, becoming Sister Figg Newton).

It was nice to be able to read a novel in an afternoon.

Bill | 23 Apr 2000
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I finally broke down and bought the first HARRY POTTER book. While in the children's section, I looked for old favorite's like Madeleine L'Engle's WRINKLE IN TIME et seq., Mary Rodgers' FREAKY FRIDAY (couldn't find it!), the Roald Dahls, and John Bellairs. I know that I read Bellairs as a kid, but I couldn't remember anything about any of them.

Last summer, I had some free time and I was visiting my folks, so I picked up a paperback of Ellen Raskin's THE WESTING GAME. Sure enough, it was as good as I remembered. I left the copy with my little sister (she's the right age for it), but I'd be surprised if she ever read it.

So today, I bought a Raskin book that I never read: FIGGS & PHANTOMS. It wasn't as good as THE WESTING GAME or THE MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF LEON (I MEAN NOEL), but it was still enjoyable. It had all the Raskin touches: quirky signs, interesting puzzle, and shamelessly invented names (Sister Figg married Newton “Newt” Newton, becoming Sister Figg Newton).

It was nice to be able to read a novel in an afternoon.

Bill | 4 Nov 2009