The Phantom Tollbooth is my favourite book, and I read it to the Grade 3s every year. It’s a classic: a hilarious, touching and pun-filled adventure through the Kingdom of Knowledge. The only problem is, sometimes the title doesn’t make immediate sense to the students, so I have to explain what a tollbooth is, and also that, in this context, “phantom” doesn’t mean a literal ghost, but is actually a synonym for “mysterious”.
A few years ago, a boy in Grade 3 couldn’t remember the title and asked me: “What’s the name of that book we’re reading? The Phantom… Toothbrush??” Ever since then, I’ve joked that we need to write a sequel where Milo finds a mysterious toothbrush that transports him to the land of… dental hygiene…? We’ll work on it.
Well, believe it or not, today as I was tidying up the library, I discovered A MYSTERIOUS TOOTHBRUSH in a Ziploc baggie. It truly is The Phantom Toothbrush.
It must be a sign.