More than half a century after he created The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster is here at BookCon to celebrate a new hardcover edition of the enduring classic. Often compared to Alice in Wonderland, Juster’s novel has been hailed by critics, assigned by teachers, read by parents, and, most importantly, adored by young readers. Upon the publication of a previous anniversary edition, Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker called it “an enduring gem,” and wrote, “The birthday of a good children’s book marks a real passage, since it means that the book hasn’t been passed just from parent to child but from parent to child and to child again.” Enlivened by illustrations by Juster’s then neighbor, Jules Feiffer, The Phantom Tollbooth is a mainstay of numerous lists of top books for children including those of the New York Public Library and the National Education Associations.
Today, at 1 p.m., Juster will be in the autographing area to invite yet another generation of readers to journey with Milo to the Lands Beyond. He will be signing early copies of the new edition, which will be available for sale in August. It features a foreword by the author and essays by award-winning writers and artists including Philip Pullman, who says of the novel, “It will continue to charm and delight for a very long time yet.” Mo Willems, Suzanne Collins, and Michael Chabon are among those contributing essays. Also featured is an introduction by the late Maurice Sendak and then-and-now photographs of the author and illustrator.