Norton Juster

Author of The Phantom Tollbooth, as well as architect, teacher, cook, punster, and general bon vivant. We had the pleasure of spending time with him in  his study and  kitchen  as well as at numerous readings, book signings, and school visits.  We learned about the backstory of The Phantom Tollbooth, his collaboration with Jules Feiffer, his thoughts on education and teaching, and listened with glee as The Phantom Tollbooth author read us his favorite passages from the novel.  

Jules Feiffer

Illustrator of The Phantom Tollbooth, a man who needs little introduction from us! Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his editorial cartooning in The Village Voice , the illustrator, author and playwright shared his wit, warmth and satire on everything from the Cold War to hitchhiking across the country to his long friendship with Norton Juster. 

David Hyde Pierce

Narrator of The Phantom Tollbooth Audio Book, who, among his many achievements, is best known for his role as Dr. Niles Crane on the NBC sitcom Frasier and recently starred on Broadway in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. In the documentary he talked to us about his father’s tendency for punning, and we got to hear the fantastic voices he used to create The Phantom Tollbooth Audio Book.  

Eric Carle

Children's Book Author and Illustrator,  the author and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, as well as numerous other beloved children’s books, shared stories from his 35 year long friendship with Norton Juster, about his old dog named Tock, and his founding of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Jason Epstein

Former Editorial Director at Random House and Publisher of The Phantom Tollbooth, told us his thoughts on the joy of a good story, how he never left college, and how the publishing industry is undergoing drastic changes. Oh yes, and why his dog Hamlet doesn’t quite live up to his name. 

Adam Gopnik

Children's Book Author and New Yorker Staff Writer , as well as author and critic, who wrote the great New Yorker piece on The Phantom Tollbooth last fall, Broken Kingdom. He shared his love of the art of children’s literature, his thoughts on the Liberal Arts, and why Rhyme and Reason are sexy. 

Bill Harley

Children's Book Author, Storyteller and Musicianand the rare adult who really understands kids - and makes great songs and stories to prove it. We're thrilled he agreed to write a song for the film which is  through the eyes of Milo and appropriately titled “Milo’s Song." 

Leonard S. Marcus 

Historian and Author of The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth, he helped us contextualize The Phantom Tollbooth and locate its creation in Brooklyn Heights in the late 1950s and early 1960s. A wealth of knowledge!

Jack and Evan

These siblings are a year apart and frequently finish each other’s sentences.  We knew we’d found our way to the perfect kids for the documentary when Jack showed up for the film shoot wearing a t-shirt that read “I avoid clichés like the plague.”  It was hard for us not to crack up during their discussion of how to pronounce “charabanc.” (We still don’t know.)  

Hannah and Max

Young fans of The Phantom Tollbooth, Hannah and Max have a classic big-sister little-brother relationship. Hannah’s a HUGE fan of the book and, while Max confesses on camera that he hasn’t actually read The Phantom Tollbooth, it’s such fun to listen in as his sister explains the name of one of the book’s most important characters.   

Jeanne Juster

Norton Juster’s wife may have grown up “across the pond” in England, but she’s known Norton and been laughing at his jokes for some 50 years. When asked about Norton’s silly behavior, she responded “It’s much tamer now than it used to be!”

Bobbie Carle

The wife of the famous author-illustrator, she is the co-founder with him of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Thanks to Bobbie, we now know the little known story of “The Very Neurotic Grasshopper.“

Tori Juster

As Norton Juster’s only grandchild, Tori knows the author as “Poppy.”  Tori is the inspiration for her grandfather’s books, The Hello, Goodbye Window (which won the Caldecott Medal for Chris Raschka’s illustrations) and Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie. In the documentary, she shared the poignant story of the first time she read The Phantom Tollbooth.

Emily Juster

The only child of Norton and Jeanne, Emily grew up in a house full of laughter and word play. In the film, she recounted how her dad served scrapple to her friends and, on a more serious note, talked about growing up with a learning disability.