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12 Days of Holiday Gift Suggestions – Day 10

December 21, 2011

Day 10 of our 12 Days of Holiday Gift Suggestions is from Sarah N. She had the great pleasure of recently meeting the author of the book she’s recommending, and she shares all about it below. 

 If you’re looking for a book that spans the ages, The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer is the perfect choice.  And this fall, to mark the 50th anniversary of this beloved classic, we’ve published two new editions:

The Phantom Tollbooth 50th Anniversary Edition features a gorgeous hardcover package and brief essays from esteemed authors, educators, and artists, including Maurice Sendak, Philip Pullman, Suzanne Collins, Jeanne Birdsall, Mo Willems, and others. 


The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth by Leonard Marcus, a nationally acclaimed writer on children’s literature, includes interviews with the author and illustrator, illuminating excerpts from Juster’s notes and drafts, cultural and literary commentary, and Marcus’s own insights on the book. The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth also includes a must-read introduction that gives readers the fascinating background on the book’s creators and publication.

Somehow I missed reading this classic during my childhood, but I picked it up a few weeks ago in preparation for an event that I was attending where Norton Juster was the keynote speaker.  In the waning days of my 20s (I hit the big 30 in January) I – like millions of readers before me – found the book captivating, extremely clever, and a very rewarding read.  At the community-wide reading event in Decatur, GA, hosted by Little Shop of Stories, I was thrilled to meet Mr. Juster and about 500 of his adoring fans, ranging in ages from giddy 2nd graders, to young adults dressed as characters from the book, to retirees clutching their 30-year-old copies of the book.  This is certainly a book that you can pick up at any age and discover something new with each read.

Author Norton Juster climbs into the Tollbooth made by the folks at Little Shop of Stories!

 Comments welcome -and if you leave a comment you’ll have a chance to win all 12 of the books that we’ve featured during our 12 Days of Holiday Books!  (US Residents Only)

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2011 10:19 am

    I didn’t discover this classic until I was taking a children’s literature class in college. I’ve since read The Phantom Tollbooth with countless classes of 5th graders (most recently this past October), and without fail, every kid falls in love with Milo, Tock, the Whether Man, the smallest giant, Dr. Discord, and the other hilarious and unforgettable characters.

    Sounds like a great event! And Little Shop of Stories is one of my very favorite book stores in the country.

  2. December 21, 2011 1:08 pm

    Another fabulous suggestion! I’ve loved all your recommendations so far…can’t wait to see what #11 and #12 have in store for me.

  3. December 21, 2011 7:53 pm

    I’ve never read this one but I know I should!!!!!!

  4. December 21, 2011 8:04 pm

    After the numerous posts about this book here, I feel slightly ashamed for not having read it yet… Hopefully I will, soon!

  5. Judy permalink
    December 31, 2011 1:27 pm

    I have not read this either but have it sitting in a stack waiting to read in the new year! Thanks for the great list!

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