The subtitle of Lost in Lexicon, An Adventure in Words and Numbers, only hints at the magic inside this engrossing story. Lost in Lexicon is not only a highly entertaining story, it is a fascinating construction of that story intermixed with easy to understand scenarios that show the equal importance words and numbers play in our lives.
Daphne and Ivan embark on a quest, encouraged by their Aunt Adelaide. The story doesn’t take long to get moving, and once it does, the two cousins are carried into another land. Nothing there is at it seems, and it’s all very confusing to them at first. Daphne and Ivan must use their wits and natural abilities to make their way. Along the way they discover that each of them has gifts, and that it’s equally useful to be good at math or to be good with words.
From iambic pentameter to algebraic equations, little tidbits are worked in to the story as the two cousins meet people in towns where everyone must talk in verse, or where different parts of the town use different parts of speech, or as they try to just plain figure out where they are and how to get from point A to point B, using a very strange compass and a map they draw in the sand.
Daphne and Ivan’s quest is to solve the mystery of the missing children. It turns out to be a dangerous assignment. Along the way, they are turned around, sidetracked, and even kidnapped. They are constantly in danger of being enveloped in the fog or being enchanted by flashing lights in the sky. They discover that the danger posed by the lights in the sky is what is causing many of the problems they encounter, and that they cannot exactly escape these lights by going back home.
The children that they do see happily playing are only able to avoid the lights because they spend all day long playing imaginative games and are too tired to stay up past dark. The rhymes they chant in their games give you an idea of what Noyce thinks of television and video games:
Pixels, pixels, keep away,
We can sing and we can play.
We don’t need colored dots like you
Telling us what we should do!
If Daphne and Ivan can only avoid the fancy lights, they can find the missing children, solve their quest (maybe even write an epic poem about it), and get home to Aunt Adelaide.