To anyone who’s read it, no explanation is necessary. Milo is a young boy who finds everything in life boring and pointless. One day a mysterious tollbooth appears in his room. Driving a toy car through the tollbooth, he enters magical kingdom and meets the Whether Man, Tock (the dog with the body of a clock, whose job is to watch time and make sure no one wastes it), The Spelling Bee, King Azaz of Dictionopolis, Faintly Macabre the Which (not witch!), the Humbug, and many more. He visits a great many startling places and, in the process grows in intelligence, wisdom, and self-assurance.
The Phantom Tollbooth is an allegory, to be sure, but somehow it’s not as annoying as other allegories. The sweetness and light-heartedness save it from being overbearing, and the humor and fast pacing make it anything but boring. The crude pen-and-ink drawings are the perfect compliment to the story, and every single thing in the book works out just right. I have never met any child who did not enjoy The Phantom Tollbooth, except those who haven’t read it. If you know such a child, correct the situation at once.