My all-time favorite book, “The Phantom Tollbooth,” will be a half-century old this fall. My parents read it to me as a child, as my wife’s parents did with her. We read it to our daughter, and I have given copies to my nieces and nephews so they could enjoy it, too.

In October, the publisher, Knopf, will release a 50th-anniversary edition to mark the occasion, which will include this essay by Michael Chabon, a fellow lover of Milo, Tock, and the rest of that pun-filled classic.