To young Noel, having an I.Q. of one-hundred-and-fifty is a definite detriment. It is his secret I.Q. -- his imagination quotient -- which he values, for it is this mechanism which allows him to escape the fatiguing routine of lessons which his ambitious parents impose on him. Using his imagination feverishly, Noel meets a magic friend who leads him through the world of animals where Noel has many frightening adventures, but learns to understand foreign creatures on their own terms. His trip across the Golden Stile of the heavens is interpreted by his parents as an illness-induced delirium, and they resolve to allow him greater leisure in the future. But Noel knows, and so will the captivated young reader, that the most potent of all realities lies in the recesses of the imagination. Trollish night creatures, curious animals, and shadowy realms are vividly illustrated by the black and white illustrations of C. Walter Hodges in this Oz-like and inventive Odyssey.