Friday, July 17, 2015

Children's Literature Review and Reflections: The Phantom Tollbooth

Concepts become characters in this novel where everything is a pun or downright metaphorical. A cross between Alice in Wonderland(with plot) and The Little Prince (with substance), the story is replete with both fantasy and philosophy-two of my favorites. Add some illustrations on the sides and you have perhaps one of the most unique, interesting and informative Children's Literature around.

This, I believe, is what kids, young adults (and kids at heart) should be reading.

Written by Norton Juster and Illustrated by Jules Feiffer

From the book:
'but, as you know, the most important reason for going to one place to another is to see what's in between, and they took great pleasure in doing just that. Then one day someone discovered that if you walked as fast as possible and looked at nothing but your shoes you would arrive at your destination more quickly. Soon everyone was doing it. They all rushed down the avenues and hurried along the boulevards seeing nothing of the wonders and beauties of their city as they went.'... No one paid any attention to how things looked, and as they moved faster and faster everything grew  uglier and dirtier and they moved faster and faster, and at last a very strange thing began to happen. Because nobody cared, the city slowly began disappear.

Fast, Fun Facts and Foibles

1. Bought this at Bookends Baguio for 75 Pesos
2. In one seminar I attended, a speaker maintained that when you write for children, you should assume that they are intelligent.
3. In one drinking session, a friend told me how she vehemently prohibits her kid nephews and nieces from watching Cartoon Network-regarding cartoons like Tom and Jerry "nakaka bobo" she said.
4. There is a debate on how to define, or even what counts as Children's Literature
the problems are: 
a. does it(Children's Literature) refer to texts read by children at what age range?(is there really a standard age for maturity or imagination?)
b. where do they read this? ( are these texts they read at school, they watch at home?) anywhere, kids can read anything and there is little to stop them from reading whatever it is they want and can read.

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