|Milo and Tock from the Phantom Tollbooth|
One big kid who recently expressed his thoughts on the Phantom Tollbooth is author Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Wonder Boys, The Yiddish Policemen's Union). Chabon wrote the introduction to the 50th Anniversary edition of The Phantom Tollbooth this year and it addresses this question: What can a book mean to a reader?
Here is an excerpt:
When I was a boy I read, in a biography of Daniel Boone, or of Daniel Beard, that young Dan (whichever of the two it may have been—or maybe it was young George Washington) had so loved some book, had felt his heart and mind inscribed so deeply in its every line, that he had pricked his fingertip with a knife and, using a pen nib and his blood for ink, penned his name on the flyleaf. At once, reading that, I knew two things: 1) I must at once undertake the same procedure and 2) only one, among all the books I adored and treasured, was worthy of such tribute: The Phantom Tollbooth. At that point I had read it at least five or six times.
You can find the rest of this wonderful essay reprinted in the New York Review of Books, here